COVID-19 has done irreparable harm on Illinoisans: families are hurting, small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, and farmers have no idea what the future holds.
Every corner of the state has seen decades-old businesses shuttered permanently. Lives have been ruined. Our economy is in disarray with millions out of work.
For our business, Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop was allowed to re-open. Still, operating restrictions such as capacity limits in the number of people in a given area, not allowing walk-ins, having to permit customers into a facility, and trying to sell retail that cannot be touched by customers have been incredibly difficult to make ends meet. Not to mention the unplanned expenses of plexiglass installation and PPE for the staff and customers that must be maintained and replenished; all of this is hurting my business.
These are some of the crucial reasons why this is the worst possible time to raise taxes on small businesses in Illinois.
This November, voters are being asked to vote on an amendment to the Illinois Constitution which would give legislators the unprecedented power to tax residents whenever they want and on any group of taxpayers they want.
This is a deceptive and damaging plan to bait voters into a trap that opens the door for unlimited higher taxes.
This would be the third massive tax hike in the last decade.
Currently, Illinois has one flat tax rate, and in 2021, that rate is supposed to go down. The proposed amendment would allow lawmakers to create as many tax brackets they want and change them whenever they want, ensuring taxes go up to the tune of $3.4 billion.
This is why I have joined a dozen other people — just like me, who care about their small businesses in this state and, more importantly, care about those that we employ. We have formed an organization to stop this deceptive amendment. We are a coalition not made of one party, profession or race, but one of one mind that is reaching out to every voter in our state to say: we have a voice.
Why would we trust lawmakers in Springfield today to set new and erratic tax rates that will hurt us? Legislators change. There is no protection for what may happen today won’t be even worse in years to come.
This bipartisan group from throughout Illinois has one mission: Ensure the Springfield politicians aren’t given a blank check with our tax dollars.
Even before COVID-19, Illinois’ high taxes were sending people fleeing the state. Six straight years in a row, we have lost population. We are likely going to lose a U.S. congressional seat because of our diminishing population.
We have some of the highest state and local taxes and the second-highest property taxes in America.
Supporters of the amendment will spin every tale imaginable to trick voters into believing this tax hike amendment is only taxing the rich.
Yet the only limit set is on how high rates could be set for big corporations. That means for people like you and me – no limits.
Politicians desperate for more tax dollars are telling families that this time they will actually balance the state budget.
Where have we heard that before?
And Springfield’s legacy of late is positioning us to have the worst in the nation credit rating and in debt to the tune of $8 billion. And this is before COVID-19.
The deficit is now much higher, and some organizations are saying there is no way the tax hike amendment in its current form can balance the budget. The truth is that if this amendment passes, it will drive small businesses out of this state at a pace as we’ve never seen before. When all these "wealthy-higher-paying-tax-people" leave, who’s left to pay the taxes? The middle class—with even higher taxes.
The proposed tax hike is both deceptive and will certainly damage our economy even further.
Our families, our employees, and our local businesses that have managed to survive COVID-19 are hanging by a thread.
We can’t think of a worse time to raise taxes.
Paola Hinton is the owner of Five Senses Spa, Salon and Barbershop in Peoria.
via Journal Star
July 15, 2020 at 10:33PM