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Rauner to Illinois Taxpayers – You’ll Get Hit on Taxes, But Federal Tax Reform Will Help Me Politically

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Rauner Harkens Back To “Crisis Creates Opportunity” Quote While Discussing How Hard Illinois Taxpayers Will Be Hit by Federal Tax Reform

Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner answered a question about what the federal tax reform would do to state and local deductions. Rauner agreed that reducing the deductions would hurt Illinois taxpayers, but rather then pledge to lobby Congress to make a change, said it would put more “pressure on residents, taxpayers in the fiscally irresponsible, high-tax states” to “do what I’m recommending.”   

Rauner’s answer echoes his infamous statement in 2015 that “crisis creates opportunity.” Illinois went without a budget for two-years while Rauner attempted to push through his policy proposals; the state debt grew by $10 billion while job growth slowed.

“Today, Bruce Rauner made clear that he’s looking out for himself, not Illinois taxpayers,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Trump’s tax plan is going to raise taxes and costs on middle-class families in Illinois, and all Rauner is thinking about is how this helps his political ambitions. At no time during this process did Rauner lift a finger to protect the Illinois taxpayer. Instead, he’s been cheering Congress on.”

Rauner was addressing a group of farmers in Carmi. Watch here.

“QUESTION: So, governor, what’s the outlook for doing something about the income tax increase, and the reason I bring it up is that with the new tax law, that they’re talking about in Congress, if we lose our deductions for state taxes, we’re going to basically be paying double.

“RAUNER: No, that’s right. That’s one of the big challenges. It looks like, I mean I’ve been travelling all day today, I haven’t gotten a chance to study what looks like Congress came to on some compromise, I gotta study that tonight and tomorrow. But it sounded like both houses of Congress agree that most, not all probably, but most of the deduction for state and local taxes is not deductible. I mean you’re losing the deduction at the federal taxes. That’s going to put huge pressure on residents, taxpayers in the fiscally irresponsible, high-tax states like Illinois. Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, all the fiscally irresponsible, heavy spending, heavy tax states. That’s going to put huge, more pressure on taxpayers in those states. So, we’re all going to have to figure it out. This puts even more pressure to do what I’m recommending: bring down government spending and make our economy more competitive. Cause in the end, we can’t just think that taxes are going to solve it. It just creates more pressure. It’s gonna force behavior change one way or the other in these fiscally irresponsible states including Illinois and for this reason I’ve got to just redouble the efforts to change how the system is working in Illinois.”

Before Rauner cheered on congressional efforts to pass tax reform despite acknowledging what it would do to middle-class taxpayers. Now, he’s sees opportunity in higher middle-class taxes.