Rauner tax plan leaves unanswered questions

By Matt Porter | mporter@wcia.com

Published 07/18 2014 10:30PM

Updated 07/21 2014 11:08AM

ILLINOIS -- A bold plan by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has tax relief advocates cheering, but leaves others asking more questions. Rauner wants to roll back the Illinois income tax all the way to its original rate of 3 percent. That’s lower than the 3.75 percent the income tax is scheduled to revert to in January.

"Every Illinoisian deserves a tax cut,” said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice-president for the Illinois Policy Institute. “In fact, it's what we were promised when they raised our taxes a few years ago."

Rasmussen said rolling back taxes will be the only way to force lawmakers to make needed spending cuts.

"Keeping the promised tax relief is a necessary step in making sure the politicians make the hard choices,” she said.

In Rauner’s plan, he has proposed raising money through what he calls "modernizing the sales tax." The Republican candidate said its time for the state to tax dozens of services it deems "non-necessities" including taxes on services for recreational vehicles, lawyers and janitorial services.

Tricia Sennings, co-owner of Sennings Carpet Cleaner, said her business could have trouble adjusting to another tax.

"Consumers already have a little bit of trouble paying prices we have, when they make a phone call to us they're already calling around shopping trying to get the cheapest price they can,” Sennings said.

Sennings said if business slowed, she would have to make tough choices.

"We might have to let a few people go if we don't have as much business coming in,” she said.

Rauner’s sales tax plan would increase revenue by $600 million annually, but not come close to meeting the estimated $7 billion shortfall from decreasing the income tax.

Democrat Governor Pat Quinn wants to keep the state's temporary income tax at 5 percent and give homeowners a $500 property tax refund.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.