(The Center Square)—There could be tax cuts on the horizon for Illinoisans. Whether that’s thanks to managing public dollars well or because of COVID-19 relief is up for debate.
With record inflation and Illinois’ high tax burden, Gov. JB Pritzker will offer up tax relief during his budget address Wednesday. The question remains if it’s permanent or temporary.
Pritzker on Tuesday said he’ll propose tax relief by freezing the annual increase on gas taxes this summer, lower grocery taxes and offer up to $300 of property tax rebates.
“It’s a significant amount, it’s a billion dollars in tax relief for families across our state,” Pritzker said.
Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, said what Republicans have been saying for years. There needs to be permanent tax relief.
“What’s unfortunate is [the governor] looks to be only doing a one-year, election year gimmick,” McConchie told The Center Square. “‘Oh, temporary tax relief,’ but then they’ll go back up.”
Pritzker is running for a second term in office this year. Several Republicans are running in the GOP primary in June for the opportunity to beat him in November.
Any of the governor’s proposals would need to be approved by the legislature. McConchie said minority Republicans want to be pushing for permanent tax cuts. Pritzker blamed the previous Republican administration that had to deal with a Democratic majority in the legislature.
“If they had actually done something during the leadership of the last governor to put our state budget in good working order, to give us surpluses, we’d be able to do more,” Pritzker said when asked about permanent tax cuts.
Pritzker has said his administration has managed the budget to get to the point of offering tax cuts. McConchie said the truth is in the federal tax funds.
“Money from COVID, that’s what he’s going to be using to quote-unquote kind of patch the budget instead of doing the real fundamental reforms that need to take place in this state,” McConchie said.
With the inclement weather and the House and Senate canceling sessions days this week, the governor will make his public address in-person live at the Old State Capitol in Springfield at noon.