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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Naperville’s Pulse in Springfield – New taxes in Illinois


When I meet with people in and around the 41st District, the issue that comes up most often is taxes. Residents are shouldering an enormous tax burden and are begging for relief. In DuPage County, we pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, and a recent national study indicated that overall, Illinoisans carry the highest tax burden in the country.

Despite this grave reality, this year in Springfield we saw a flurry of new and expanded tax proposals. Emboldened by their new super-majority status and a Governor from their party, Democrats filed legislation to tax just about anything you could imagine, including plastic bags, water bottles, ride-sharing and video streaming services – just to name a few. Luckily, those proposals did not advance.

But several others did. In fact, if Governor Pritzker signs every tax and fee increase that crosses his desk, he will enact 21 new taxes and fees that will raise billions in new revenue. What you won’t see land on the Governor’s desk this summer is any piece of legislation that offers property tax relief or meaningful reforms to how Illinois does business. There’s nothing to improve the efficiency of government, nothing to ensure the state’s resources are being prioritized so they are channeled toward the delivery of services to our most vulnerable citizens, and nothing that helps taxpayers.

While your calls for tax relief and reform were ignored by the majority party, I heard you loud and clear. As your vote on these matters in the legislature, I’m proud to say that I was a vocal “no” vote on nearly every one of these items.

I voted against the graduated income tax Constitutional Amendment that would raise taxes by $3.5 billion on Illinois families and businesses. I also voted against the increase to the minimum wage, which will drive up costs for goods and services, and cause many small businesses to close their doors. I was also a “no” vote on the measure to double the gas tax, and increase vehicle, truck and electric car registration fees. I simply could not support pouring more money into the state coffers when those in charge have shown no interest whatsoever in being good stewards with taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

Republicans in the House and Senate are working from a position of super-minority. That means Democrats can pass any bill they want without any Republican votes. But as these measures are brought forward, I will continue to be loud with my dissent and will cast votes that protect the taxpayers of the 41st District.

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Grant Wehrli
Grant Wehrli
Grant Wehrli is a lifelong Naperville Resident and former Representative in the Illinois House of Representatives and Naperville City Councilman.