SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- Gov. J.B. Pritzker had strong words this afternoon about voters rejecting Illinois’ proposed Fair Tax Plan. He warned voters ahead of the election that defeat of the amendment would mean a general increase of the flat rate, spending cuts, or more.
“There will be cuts and they will be painful,” said Gov. Pritzker during his daily press briefing.
Gov. Pritzker explained the Fair Tax system would have helped address the state’s budget crisis with the least damage.
“You deserved a fairer tax system and you still do,” said Gov. Pritzker.
Illinois is currently operating under a flat-rate income tax, a system that few states still use. Gov. Pritzker’s top priority is to abolish the flat-rate tax for one that would take a greater share from wealthier taxpayers.
“Millionaires and billionaires opposed it to protect their own wallets, deceiving the public about its purpose, and they prevailed,” explained Gov. Pritzker.
He said that the state’s fiscal problems haven’t gone away and he will be working with legislators on how to balance the budget and get the bills paid.
Gov. Pritzker said the Fair Tax plan would have generated an extra $3 billion a year to pay down debt. Opponents contended that Pritzker and fellow Democrats who control the General Assembly would use the money for new programs.
Gov. Pritzker said he has already worked with the state comptroller to work on the backlog of unpaid bills that totaled $8 billion. He says they have already worked on getting rid of late payment penalties which will save the state $850 million a year.