Poll: Pritzker Progressive Income Tax, Pension Holiday Plans Panned by South Suburban Voters
A survey of south suburban Chicagoland voters shows that a majority of residents oppose Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s tax hike plan to switch the state from a fixed rate income tax to a graduated rate income tax. The survey shows that most respondents are not impressed by the small tax savings the plan offers and are suspicious of the possibility that Pritzker will raise taxes again
By Ray Hanania
A new poll reveals that voters in south suburban Cook County are giving a thumbs down to newly-minted Governor JB Pritzker’s plans to impose a progressive income tax in Illinois and to take a partial pension holiday.
An April 22-23 survey of 433 likely south suburban voters commissioned by the Southwest News-Herald finds that Pritzker’s proposed tax plan, which, by the governor’s own estimate, will take an additional $3.4 billion out of taxpayers’ wallets, is underwater among these voters by 16-points.
In response to the question “Do you support or oppose Governor JB Pritzker’s plan to create a progressive income tax in Illinois that will increase incomes taxes overall by $3.4 billion?”, 47.4% “oppose” and only 31.6% “support” the proposal. 21.0% are undecided.
The poll suggests there will be a backlash against any legislator who supports the Pritzker tax. When voters hear that a ‘progressive’ income tax will snatch an additional $3.4 billion out of their pockets, they will solidly reject it, polling concludes.
Many respondents surveyed said they were not moved by the “happy talk” coming out of the governor’s office about voter support for a progressive income tax. Poll results show that the price tag is a deal-breaker with voters, at least, in the south suburbs.”
The governor’s office has noted that a family of four with a household income of $61,000 would see their tax bill drop by $41, but this marginal savings is also a loser with south suburban voters, according to the poll.
In response to the question, “Are you more likely or less likely to support Governor Pritzker’s progressive income tax if you knew that a family of four with a household income of $61,000 would see only $41 in income tax relief?”, 38.4% are “less likely” to support Pritzker’s progressive tax plan while 27.0% are “more likely”. 34.6% are undecided.
The polling suggests that the “paltry savings” offered by Pritzker to middle-class families, and south suburban voters are telling the governor to take a hike. One voter surveyed in the poll said, “The puny amount that is saved is not worth it. It’s a turnoff.”
The poll, conducted by Illinois Public Opinion, Inc., also has bad news for the governor regarding his plan to short the state employee pension systems over the next seven-years by taking a pension holiday totaling approximately $1.1 billion per year, according to an independent estimate.
In response to the question, “Do you support or oppose Governor JB Pritzker’s plan to skip pension payments for state employees totaling more than $7 billion over the next seven years?”, just 19.8% “approve” and a whopping 56.2% “oppose” the idea. 24.0% were undecided.
The story of Illinois’ crushing, unfunded state pension debt of $132 billion has been hammered home to Illinois taxpayers over the years, and south suburban voters are saying stop digging a deeper hole. Some pundits believe a “political price” could be paid on election day by lawmakers who support the governor’s pension holiday.
The poll, which surveyed voters in municipalities represented by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association of Cook County, had a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.
Listen to Ray Hanania on Politics podcast discussing the Pritzker tax and the polling survey results by clicking here or by using the audio widget below.