Just what kind of new taxes could be in Illinois taxpayers’ future? Several state lawmakers outlined their ideas for tax increases during a forum on Monday.

Democratic state Senator Heather Steans said Illinois needs a progressive income tax similar to how the federal government taxes income. She also said Illinois needs spending cuts alongside more revenue.

“This is not rocket science here in actually solving the budget,” Steans said. “We need some spending cuts and we need some revenue. We’ve got to do both.”

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Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris proposed ending corporate tax loopholes, broadening sales taxes to include financial transactions, pulling money from special funds, “potentially rolling back some of the cuts in the income tax (and) moving to progressive taxation in the state.”

Republican state Rep. Tom Morrison said lawmakers should steer clear of taxing a specific group of people.

“The 3,000 millionaires who left Chicago, as it was reported last week, just saying we’re going to tax them more is not going to bring them back,” Morrison said. “It’s going to increase that number.”

Morrison said if increasing taxes alone were the fix, it would have been done already. He insisted on economic reforms the governor has said will help grow the economy and the tax base.

Republican state Rep. Patti Bellock said increasing taxes on a shrinking tax base is the wrong way to go, especially with high property taxes in the mix.

“And so the thing that we have to do is try to reduce the overall tax burden on the people in our state,” Bellock said.

Senator Matt Murphy said he doesn’t like the idea of tax increases but said Republicans, including the governor, will support them if they are part of a good deal on economic reforms to grow the economy.

The forum was sponsored by Truth In Accounting and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.


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