Pritzker To Kill-Off Small Businesses

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After Illinois governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker’s failed attempt to raise the Illinois state income tax with a graduated tax, Pritzker (D) has announced a plan to increase business taxes by an estimated $900 million.

“For Pritzker, to finish what he started with his lockdown and finish off small businesses is disgusting, but not out of character for him,” said Matthew Schultz, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “In between the lockdowns, stealing tax cuts meant to help businesses, and now the closing of unspecified loopholes, Pritzker has shown nothing but contempt for struggling Illinois businesses.”

“Why is Pritzker increasing taxes? It is not for so-called services,” said Schultz. “Pritzker’s only goal is to funnel as much money as he can into the pockets of retired Illinois government employees. Pritzker’s loyalty to this affluent government class is so strong he would rather cannibalize parts of the state budget, than to dare touch their lavish, gold-plated pensions.”

“The Illinois government pension system has been crowding out state and local Illinois government budgets for years, and is the primary reason that politicians have raised Illinois taxes. However, taxes are also the top reason for residents fleeing Illinois. Since 2014, Illinois has seen its population continue to decline, and higher taxes will continue to exacerbate this problem.”

“Every person who leaves Illinois represents one less taxpayer, one less employee, and one less customer for businesses. Every person who leaves is a direct reduction in the size of the Illinois economy. There are increasingly fewer reasons to stay in Illinois, and ever more reasons to move. The state of Indiana, flush with cash from tax refugees fleeing Illinois, is offering money for people to move there. Contrast that with Illinois under Pritzker, which was set to steal another estimated $1.7 billion yearly from taxpayers in 2020.”

“There are solutions to fix Illinois. Pritzker could work to grow the Illinois economy, and thus the tax base. He could reform the Illinois government pension system to be fairer for taxpayers and ease budget problems. He could allow local governments to declare bankruptcy, and reform the budget for future growth. Instead, Pritzker has chosen the willful delusion that Illinois’ taxpayers and businesses can be taxed more forever. Eventually, something has to give, and it is looking more and more that it will be the economic backbone that is small business.”

CTA Red Line Extension Boondoggle

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Today Val Zimnicki, Taxpayers United of America’s Director of Outreach gave testimony in front of the CTA Board in regards to expanding the CTA Redline.

 “The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proposing to extend the Red Line from the existing terminal at 95th/Dan Ryan to 130th Street,” stated Mr. Zimnicki. “This boondoggle is a part of the Red Ahead Program and is estimated to cost $2.3 billion which is the largest amount ever by the CTA to be spent for a particular project. As a quick side-note, have these projects ever come in on time let alone without waste and overspending? This proposed 5.6-mile extension would include four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street, and each new station would include bus and parking facilities. But where is the money coming from? The CTA’s 2021 budget already has a $375 million deficit.” 

“The CTA claims it can pay for half the project and hope the rest of the money will come from the federal government. Actually, Chicago citizens should prepare for new tax line items on their real estate taxes to pay for this. That has been the unfortunate normal procedure that citizens of Chicago and Illinois have endured for virtually every over-budget, behind schedule and unnecessary program devised by legislators and bureaucrats. Their theme seems to be, If we build it, maybe they won’t come, but for sure we will tax them to pay for it.”

“The Red Line extension is unnecessary and expensive. How many people will use it? Projections are always optimistic and always seem to fall short. At a staggering $410 million a mile, will it pay for itself? Indeed, in the last 5 years general transit ridership fell by 2.8 million trips while ride-hailing grew by almost 30 million. Chicago is losing population as its citizens are moving to Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas and other states where the tax burdens are lower. Indeed, in the last 5 years, general transit ridership fell by 2.8 million trips while ride-hailing grew by almost 30 million.”

“The CTA will also need to purchase private property to make room for the Red Ahead Program. Families will be dislocated and some will not want to sell. Will the CTA enforce condemnation procedures? Will “just compensation” be enforced on individual property owners. Will renters be properly relocated?”

“The CTA wants to extend services to a dwindling population while not all the funding is as yet identified.”

“Will eminent domain take away property rights? What about the inevitable cost overruns and new taxes to pay for them? For these reasons, we oppose the Red Line extension.”

Governor Pritzker Still Threatens Taxpayers With State Income Tax Increase

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“I have seen some really bad governors of Illinois since I founded Taxpayers United of America (TUA) in 1976 but—I must tell you—I have never seen an Illinois governor as incompetent and corrupt as Gov. Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker (D),” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of TUA.

“Pritzker is a real piece of work. In addition to having zero talent for managing a state like Illinois, he is totally corrupt in a political sense. He is a tool of labor unions, and retired government employees who are living the high life with their lavish, gold-plated taxpayer-funded pensions. He is also a vindictive, mean-spirited individual who has taxpayers in his crosshairs.”

“TUA worked with local taxpayers’ groups across the state to assist them in defeating Pritzker’s income theft amendment in November 2020. Pritzker’s amendment would have converted the state income tax to a graduated income tax. The amendment would have enabled his Democrat thugs in that political cesspool called Springfield to raise income tax rates as high as they want, whenever they want.”

The money would have gone to prop up the state pension funds for retired government employees, which are circling the drain. Two years ago, Springfield passed a $5 billion state income tax increase, and virtually every dollar was funneled into these state pension funds. The tax increase didn’t even move the needle.”

“Through one of his mouthpieces, Pritzker had threatened that if voters did not pass his income theft amendment, he would support a 20% increase in state income tax rates. He was shocked and outraged when his amendment was crushed at the polls, and, now, he is serious about making good on his threat. In other words, Illinois taxpayers have a big target on their backs.”

“A 20% increase in the state income tax would wipe out the state’s middle class and force even more taxpayers and small businesses to flee the state for states with lower taxes. Illinois taxpayers can’t afford a 20% increase in the state income tax.”

“This year, 2021, will make or break Illinois. If Pritzker’s income tax hike passes, say goodbye to the Illinois you used to know.”