By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times
January 31, 2022
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Governor J.B. Pritzker plans to present on Wednesday a reelection year budget proposal with $1 billion in one-time tax relief. Many critics see this proposal as a reelection gimmick to buy votes.
Pritzker was set to present his budget before a joint session of the state legislature. However, House members canceled the session after being frightened by a typical Midwest snowstorm that is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday. Despite the cancellation, the Governor’s Office will release the plan to public.
According to the governor’s budget office, the new budget proposes to temporarily remove a 1% sales tax on food, a freeze on the gas tax that is conveniently tied to the Consumer Price Index, and a small rebate of $300 dollars on property taxes. The freeze on the gas tax is expected to save consumers a measly two to three cents per gallon.
Deputy governor Andy Manar said “It’s about groceries, gasoline and property taxes. Those three things combined are what the governor is proposing to the legislature that we have a robust discussion about. And that’s tackling the impact that inflation is having on working families across the state.”
According to Illinoispolicy.org, Illinois property taxes are ranked the second highest in the nation. Despite task forces and investigations, property tax reform has never been taken seriously at both state and county level.
Pritzker believes the temporary tax relief is necessary and will not be a long-term burden on the Illinois budget. However, Pritzker hopes the temporary relief will help on the campaign trail as he seeks reelection.
Frank Conklin, Illinois Political Columnist for The Chicago Times. Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.