Bernas: Don't be fooled by claims that progressive tax is only on the rich
Failure of a progressive-tax constitutional amendment is good news, but Illinois taxpayers should not let down their guard against similar attempts by Springfield lawmakers who are sure to try again, a Schaumburg Republican running for the state House said during a recent interview.
"Don't be fooled by my opponent who says it is a tax on the rich," Jillian Rose Bernas, who is locked in a rematch with Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) in this November's General Election, said during a North Cook News interview. "She is in favor of taxing everyone."
The tax in the proposed amendment would have affected households making as little as $17,300 a year, Bernas said.
"Families in my district should not pay more while politicians refuse to change the way Springfield operates," she said. "Additionally, the state will pay in foregone economic activity and lost jobs."
Bernas' comments came shortly after the release of an Illinois Policy Institute report about the progressive-tax constitutional amendment that did not make it out of the General Assembly this year. The measure effectively died after a resolution filed in April by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) gained enough support in the House to prove to supporters of the constitutional amendment that they could not gain a supermajority that would have been required to get a spot on the ballot in November's General Election, according to the Illinois Policy Institute report.
Bernas, an international relations manager who handily won the GOP primary in March, taking 59 percent of the vote over her Republican challenger Charlotte Kegarise, is facing off for the second time for Mussman's 56th House District seat. Bernas took 44.7 percent of the vote in her loss to Mussman in the 2016 race for the 56th state House District.
The 56th state House District includes Schaumburg, Hanover Park, Roselle and Elk Grove Village.
Bernas said a progressive income tax hike is not the only tax increase she doesn't support.
"I do not support any tax hike on the families in my district, unlike my opponent Michelle Mussman who voted in favor of House Resolution 1025," Bernas said while criticizing the tax hike in the proposed amendment that would have raised taxes on the median household in the 56th District by 20 percent.
"That is real money to the families in my district and just adds to the high tax burden that we already face," Bernas said.
Meanwhile, Mussman's support for higher taxes is equally clear, Bernas said.
"My opponent Michelle Mussman was voted into office eight years ago to change the system of corruption in Springfield and now she is a part of it," Bernas said.
"She was sent to stand up for our families against growing taxes and now her only answer is raising our taxes. We are tired of lawmakers like her that have no other solutions. I plan to go to Springfield to support reforms that rein in state spending and grow our state’s economy."