Durkin laments loss of compromise as House passes plan to hike taxes
When the Illinois House passed a 33 percent income tax increase as the new fiscal year was beginning, the action drew opposition from many Republicans, including House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).
Senate Bill 9 would increase the personal income tax rate to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and the corporate tax rate to 7 percent from 5.25 percent.
“We are going to be voting for the largest tax increase in Illinois, but we forget that there are people outside this chamber that are going to pay for it,” Durkin said.
As a legislative leader, Durkin has been heavily involved in budget negotiations and reform talks. He said he was disappointed that Democrats brought SB9 to a vote.
“We (Republicans) have participated in good faith,” Durkin said. “I have worked every day to find the right balance in how we can fix Illinois not just by raising taxes but by reducing spending and also making sure there are meaningful reforms to make Illinois an attractive state for families and businesses. Without that, the exodus will continue. I am disappointed that we are taking this up at this moment when there has been significant progress to address the priorities of the governor and also the priorities of the caucus.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner, who agreed that common ground was possible, said he planned to veto the bill.
“I will veto (House Speaker) Mike Madigan’s permanent 32 percent tax hike,” Rauner said in a press release after the House action. “Illinois families don’t deserve to have more of the hard-earned money taken from them when the legislature has done little to restore confidence in government or grow jobs. Illinois families deserve more jobs, property tax relief and term limits. But tonight they got more of the same.”
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider asserted that the "historic vote was not the product of negotiation and compromise focused on pro-growth, citizen-empowering reforms” but the product of special interest groups and political favoritism.
Fifteen House Republicans defied Durkin and Rauner and voted for the increase: Steve Andersson (R-Geneva), Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), John Cavaletto (R-Salem), C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville), Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago), Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), David Harris (R-Arlington Heights), Chad Hays (R-Catlin), Charlie Meier (R-Highland), Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) , Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston),Robert Pritchard ( R-Hinckley), Mike Unes (R- East Peoria), Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Leland Grove), and David Reis (R-Ste. Marie).