UPDATED: Rauner, Schneider say Madigan broke good faith with tax hike measure
Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider decried a move by House Speaker Michael Madigan to pass an income tax increase without offering reforms as the state's fiscal year began.
“When I took office, I promised the taxpayers of Illinois that I would fight every day to take this state in a new direction after decades of failed leadership from both parties,” Rauner said in a statement. “Today, Springfield has decided to give the people of Illinois the largest tax hike in history and continue out of balance budgets with no real reform. … It’s a repeat of the failed policies that created this financial crisis and caused jobs and taxpayers to flee.”
The plan, which includes a 32 percent tax hike, required 71 votes to pass the House and received 72 in the July 1 vote, including approval by 15 Republicans. Twelve of the Republicans who voted "yes" represent Downstate districts and three are from the Chicago suburbs. Ten Democrats voted against the measure.
The Senate approved the measure Tuesday after little debate. Rauner fulfilled his promise to veto, but it was overridden quickly by the Senate. A vote on the veto is expected Thursday in the House.
"Make no mistake about it – this historic vote was not the product of negotiation and compromise focused on pro-growth, citizen-empowering reforms,” Schneider said in a statement after the vote. “Last night, Madigan broke away from good faith budget negotiations with the intent of pushing his own plan to protect the broken status quo. Today, Madigan then introduced his massive 1,241-page tax-and-spend plan and gave lawmakers only hours to read, debate, and vote on the package.”
If it becomes law, the bill would increase the state's personal income tax rate to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent. The new rate will be permanent, however, instead of the four-year limit that had been considered. The corporate income tax rate would go up to 7 percent from 5.25 percent.
"The legislature could have passed a no-reform budget like this one two years ago," Rauner said in a statement. "Instead, they allowed Mike Madigan to play his political games, passed phony budgets, racked up our debt and inflicted pain on the most vulnerable."
Rauner and Schneider said the vote proves Illinoisans need to make their voices heard if they do not want to see their taxes raised.
Schneider said Republican representatives who voted in favor of the plan will find themselves challenged in the next election.
“Next year, voters will hold those politicians accountable for choosing Madigan over the people of Illinois,” Schneider said in a statement. “Now more than ever, Republicans across Illinois are standing with Gov. Rauner and redoubling our efforts to end Madigan’s corrupt status quo."
Rauner promised he’ll do everything possible to prevent the override.
“What we’ve got to do is what is right for the people of Illinois,” Rauner said. “This tax hike is not right for the people of Illinois. More taxes won’t solve our problems. We’ll be right back into more borrowing, more deficits just like that. This bill — this permanent 32 percent tax hike — will be devastating. It will not solve our problems.”