Illinois’ Bankrupt Pension Systems and Tax Hikes

I was born and raised just outside of Chicago. I still root for Chicago sports teams (Blackhawks, Bears, and Cubs). Yet I’m quite happy that I don’t reside in Illinois today. Illinois’ pension systems are basically bankrupt and Democrats in the Illinois legislature have but one solution: tax hikes.

The Illinois Policy Institute has a research report noting that taxpayer contributions to state pension funds have skyrocketed. But didn’t Illinois pass a tax increase in 2011 that would “solve” the state’s budget woes? Yes, such a tax increase passed; no, the budget woes haven’t vanished.

Unfortunately, the Democrats in the Land of Lincoln have a proposal that will solve the problems: more tax hikes! State Representative Naomi Jakobsson has introduced HJRCA0033 which would make Illinois’ state income tax progressive, with a top rate of 9%. The state’s rate would be 4% at just $18,000 of income (the state’s tax rate is supposed to be just 3.75% in 2015). .As the Illinois Policy Institute noted, this will hurt the working and middle classes hard.

The only true solution is to attack the cause of the problems. That means pensions and state spending in Illinois will need to drop drastically. That’s not likely to happen until the voters force it upon Springfield.

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