DECATUR (Illinois News Network) — Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants to lower the state’s income tax, and one central Illinois manufacturer says that will help.
Kicking off a statewide campaign swing Monday at Decatur manufacturer T/CCI, Rauner laid out four things he’s focusing on.
“Everybody, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, everybody in the state of Illinois agrees on these four things: Bring down our property taxes, roll back the income tax hike, get term limits on elected officials, and help our businesses create more jobs,” Rauner said.
The governor didn’t elaborate on how to lower the income tax.
“I want to roll it back down to 3 percent over time,” Rauner said. “There are many states that have no income tax. Now, I have not argued that we should go that far, although I’m open to that, but there’s no reason that we can’t bring that income tax hike down to 3 percent over the next few years.”
Rauner also opposed any move toward a graduated income tax, which Democrat candidates for governor are lobbying for, saying, “Every state that’s gone to a graduated income tax, the middle class gets socked with higher taxes in every case.”
Since Rauner took office nearly three years ago, Illinoisans are paying higher taxes and the state’s deficit spending is still out of control. Rauner said the fight continues.
“We can stop many bad things from happening,” Rauner said. “We’ve been able to stop some of the worst things. Speaker [Michael] Madigan wanted to spend a lot more, Speaker Madigan wanted even more tax hikes. Speaker Madigan wanted even more regulations on businesses that would have killed jobs. We’ve stopped him and his legislators that are loyal to him rather than their districts. We’ve stopped them from doing many bad things. We can continue to do that this next year.”
Rauner didn’t mention any other political rival by name other than Madigan even though he faces a primary challenge from conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and a field of Democratic rivals in their party’s primary. The first-term governor said voters need to put pressure on lawmakers to not select Madigan for another term as speaker.
While some Republicans in the statehouse have criticized Rauner as a “failed governor,” and Rauner hasn’t been successful getting major elements of his so-called Turnaround Agenda in place, T/CCI President Richard Demirjian still has his back.
“It’s up to us to believe in that and support those leaders to help them push that agenda through,” Demirjian said.
“Some of the worker comp-type hurdles are out there,” Demirjian said of hurdles his business faces. “The taxes, the incentives, the property taxes, we pay a lot of property taxes here … and try to overall lower the state income tax is going to help us out to be able to put that money directly into operations.”
Written by Greg Bishop. Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for INN. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “The Council Roundup,” as well as “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.
The Center Square -- formerly known as Watchdog.org and the Illinois News Network -- and their reporters represent 18 states across the United States as the taxpayers' watchdog, exposing the way government really works.