Will Governor Pritzker’s “Fair Tax” Hurt Middle-Class Earners?

Public Affairs Show host Jeff Berkowtz interviews Americans For Prosperity Action Senior Advisor Andrew Nelms about Governor Pritzker’s proposed “Progressive Income Tax” on the November 3, 2020 IL ballot. Nelms and Berkowitz suggest the so called “Fair Tax,” is anything but, discussing the fact that Pritzker needs $15 billion dollars a year more for his spending plans- which could result in middle class marginal tax rates climbing to as high as 14%. Moreover, Illinois, already rated by Kiplinger as the Nation’s “Least tax friendly state,” has lost 170,000 residents in the last decade. Now, Illinois could suffer another massive out-surge of productive citizens and employers if the Pritzker big tax boost is approved by the citizen referendum.

Further, Nelms argues that in progressive income tax states, those taxes are always accompanied by taxes on retirement income- one of the few taxes so far avoided by the “High tax state of Illinois.” Also, Nelms discusses with host Berkowitz the likely outflow of Illinois’ citizens to “Zero income tax,” states like Florida, Texas and Tennessee- not to mention Illinois’ residents fleeing to the adjacent flat tax states of Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky. Finally, Berkowitz and Nelms discuss various reforms to fix Illinois’ fiscal woes (which include more than $400 billion in State and local government pension liabilities).

These reforms include: (1) amending the Illinois Constitution to permit the State and local government entities to cut state & local employee and teacher pension benefits, (2) the State asking the Federal Government for the power to file for bankruptcy and (3) the Illinois state government passing legislation that gives Illinois’ cities and villages the authority to file for bankruptcy.