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McLean County Democrats Host JB Pritzker At Illinois Wesleyan

Baylee Steelman
Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker speaks at Illinois Wesleyan University on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. He sports an Equal Rights Amendment button.

Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker said Tuesday that tax breaks shouldn't be the only option for incentives that bring new businesses to the state.

Pritzker, who is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, made a campaign stop at Illinois Wesleyan University's Hansen Student Center. He said he hates that states and municipalities compete with tax incentives without certainty of a business' success.

"No longer can Illinois give away things, and not know whether we're going to get the jobs or know whether the revenue is going to come," Pritzker said. "We need to make sure those benefits are only provided upon delivering their promises to the state."

Pritzker said Illinois' universities are some of the best in the nation and produce talented professionals that can join the Illinois workforce. He said that should be an incentive.

Rauner granted Rivian and Brandt Industries tax breaks for moving into McLean County.

Pritzker said he supports a progressive income tax but hasn't shared a general layout of what the tax brackets would look like. Pritzker said a progressive income tax would put less of a burden on school funding through property taxes.

A progressive tax would allow the state to set different tax rates for different incomes, as opposed to the current flat tax rate.

"Everything about it would be determined with a negotiation with the legislature at the time. It will be really transparent to the voters when they have the opportunity to vote on it in a referendum, essentially, to get that constitutional amendment after we get it through the (Illinois) House and the Senate," Pritzker said.

Republicans in Illinois say they oppose a progressive income tax in part because they believe it will become politically easier to change the tax rates on middle-class families. Democrats say 98 percent of Illinois residents will see their taxes go down.

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