As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of people over the age of 50 and their families, AARP Illinois is compelled to point out what the Civic Committee’s plan would mean for the hard-working Illinois residents we know.
Income tax: The committee has proposed increasing the state’s individual income tax rate to 5.95 percent from 4.95 percent.
Retired seniors pay more than their fair share of other taxes, including high property taxes, and a combined sales tax rate nearing as much as 10 percent. Moreover, Illinois’ older residents contribute to the state’s economy to the tune of $358.8 billion, or 46 percent of Illinois’ GDP, despite only making up 34 percent of the state’s population. Illinois would be smart to consider maintaining and adopting programs and policies that keep this important economic engine in our state, rather than considering policies that drive retirees, and their contributions to our state’s economy and workforce, elsewhere.
Fortunately, Illinois has a governor who understands the contributions of its older residents. AARP Illinois is thankful that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has maintained his commitment to not taxing retirement income—a promise he made repeatedly while on the campaign trail, and even during a stop at AARP Illinois’ Chicago office.
We agree that tough choices must be made in order to build a long-term blueprint for Illinois’ financial stability. But legislators must find a comprehensive plan that is equitable for all Illinoisans. The Civic Committee’s proposal falls far short of this goal.