A Springfield restaurant owner says the state should live within its means instead of proposing a progressive income tax.

Charlie Parker’s Diner Owner/Operator Mike Murphy understands the state needs money but wants to ensure any tax increase goes to fix Illinois’ mounting problems, not fund new programs.

“They’re going to find new and creative ways to spend it that will not take care of our current situation and then they’ll be asking for more money down the road,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he doesn’t trust lawmakers to do the right thing. Murphy also says there would be no incentive to grow in Illinois if the state’s Constitution is changed to allow for progressive tax rates to be determined by law year to year.  

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“Well, it wouldn’t excite me a whole lot as far as expanding, and things like that, if they’re just going to take my money away from me,” Murphy said.

Murphy has been in business since 1992. He employs 23 people in Springfield.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce says a progressive income tax punishes success.

Northeastern Illinois Democratic state Sen. Don Harmon said that’s just angry rhetoric. Harmon said the proposal, to tax income of up to $100,000 at 3.5 percent, is a tax cut for most small businesses.

“If you’re earning more than $750,000 at the end of the year, putting it into your pocket, as the owner of a small business, perhaps you’re not so small anymore,” Harmon said.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch said that kind of thinking takes away the incentive for success and job creation.

“I think that is a terrible thing for the state of Illinois to do, to tax successful small businesses that create the vast majority of new jobs in our state and in the nation,” Maisch said.

The proposal would tax anyone making between $500,000 and $1 million a year at 8.75 percent, with income over $1 million taxed at 9.75 percent. That includes businesses that file as individuals.

The tax is expected to generate $1.9 billion in new revenue.


(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)