Americans for Tax Reform took action today to educate residents of Elgin, Illinois about a city council vote this week to increase their taxes.  The proposed 3-percent tax on alcohol sales in Elgin would hurt area small businesses and leave Elgin families with less money in their pocket just in time for the holiday season. Bah Humbug. Elgin residents who live in Cook County would be hit with the second tax hike on alcohol in as many months, as Cook County recently approved a tax increase on alcohol despite bipartisan opposition from taxpayers and small businesses alike.  

2011 has been a tough year for Elgin, IL taxpayers. The increased levy on sales and alcohol would come on the heels of Governor Quinn’s massive 66-perent hike in the state income tax earlier this year.  As a result of that tax increase, the average family with a taxable income of $40,000 now has nearly $1,000 less a year for clothes, food, school supplies, and bills. 

The tax environment in Illinois has become so onerous that businesses that have called Illinois home since their beginning are threatening to leave the state.  Sears has complained about the anti-business, anti-job tax environment, while the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has considered moving to Indianapolis, Indiana.   To prevent this, state lawmakers have approved a special tax carve out for Sears and CME. By raising rates and shrinking the tax base, Illinois lawmakers are enacting the opposite of pro-growth tax reform. 

Adding insult to injury for Elgin taxpayers, at the end of next year the largest federal tax increase in history will kick in.  The lowest federal income tax bracket will jump from 10 to 15-percent.  The highest bracket will move from 35 to 39.6-percent.  The child tax credit will be cut in half and the Alternative Minimum Tax will hit 28 million families, up from 4 million last year.  And these are just some of the tax increases that will take place. 

A citizen’s task force recommended against the tax as well as a proposed increase in the city sales tax.  Instead of heeding the words of Elgin residents, however, the city council continues to push forward on raising taxes. Rather than trying to tax holiday cheer, Elgin council members should do what families across Illinois have done all year, cut spending and live within their means.  

Read ATR president Grover Norquist’s letter to the Elgin City Council here.

Elgin City Council members can be reached at 847-931-5590