Pritzker tax relief proposals are ‘election year gimmicks,’ critics say – NBC Chicago

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced a proposed $45.4 billion budget earlier this week that includes tax relief on groceries, gasoline and property.

But, critics say, these tax breaks are “election year stuff.”

With inflation driving up prices, the governor is looking for ways to offset that burden. He hopes to lift the 1% sales tax on groceries for a year, freeze the motor fuel tax that goes into road construction at 39.2 cents a gallon instead of allowing the indexed rate of increase to 2.2 cents and offer a discount of up to $300. equal to the property tax credit available on income taxes.

Pritzker says the changes will bring “real relief to Illinois families.”

But businessman Gary Rabine, one of Pritzker’s Republican opponents in the gubernatorial race, said the budget was “a one-time giveaway based on a huge federal government bailout” of COVID-19 relief funds. .

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, another Republican gubernatorial candidate, asked, “Once that one-time COVID-19 money dries up, what is it going to do the year after? and the year after?

“Well, the same thing he did before, he’s going to come back to the people of Illinois and say I want to raise your taxes,” Irvin continued.

Pritzker, however, said federal relief funds played no role in his plans, explaining, “We have a budget surplus with no federal dollars.”

However, Ted Dabrowski of Wirepoints, a nonpartisan group that examines public finances, says Illinois needs structural reform — not small changes.

“Unfortunately, Illinoisans, you know, pay the second highest property taxes in the country,” he said. “They pay the second highest gas taxes in the country. They don’t need a little one-year relief…”

Not just tax relief, the governor also faced questions about crime and whether his criminal justice reform bill went too far.

Illinois Senator Darren Bailey, a Republican who is also running for governor, said “men and women who break the law seem to have more rights than us the people, and something is wrong with that. that”.

Pritzker disagreed and said, in part, “…There were a lot of people, a lot of people, who were in the room making decisions from all over the state, including the forces of the order.”

Those two issues — crime and taxes — are set to dominate the 2022 gubernatorial race.

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