Luckily for Illinoisans, the push to make the state’s low, flat-rate 3 percent income tax more progressive appears to have slowed (June 23, “Lawmakers cool to graduated income tax plan”). The idea that Illinois should destroy its tax code’s lone competitive advantage is mind-boggling.
Not only would such a change create larger revenue swings, but it also would deter economic growth, which is already struggling due to other burdensome aspects of the tax code. According to the Tax Foundation’s 2010 State Business Tax Climate Index, Illinois’ “tax friendliness” toward business ranks 30th out of 50 states. Raising income taxes would assuredly drive that ranking lower and, more importantly, drive much-needed capital out of the state.
Unless Illinois starts pushing forward on comprehensive spending reforms and an overhaul of the government work force, these sorts of mind-numbing tax proposals will continue to pop up … and should be rejected.
Legislative Specialist, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
This letter to the editor was originally published in the Daily Herald.