October 29, 2017

Duckworth Highlights Disastrous Impacts of GOP Tax Plan for Working Families in Illinois at Meeting with Local Officials and Realtors


[BARRINGTON, IL] -U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth met with local realtors and elected officials from the Northwest suburbs on Sunday to discuss the disastrous impact the GOP tax plan would have on working families. Specifically, the Republican tax proposal would eliminate the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction that nearly 2 million Illinoisans rely on to avoid being taxed twice, at both the state and federal level, on their hard-earned income. A photo of the meeting is available here.

"I want to work with both Republicans and Democrats to pass tax reform that is comprehensive and helps Illinois's small businesses and middle-class families," Duckworth said. "After speaking with local stakeholders, it is clear that this tax proposal disproportionately hurts homeowners, the housing and construction industries as well as local communities."

The GOP tax plan would be devastating to local and state municipalities by undermining their ability to fund infrastructure projects, education programs and social services. Senators Duckworth and Durbin wrote a letter to Illinois Governor Rauner today requesting information on how the SALT deduction would affect Illinois's economy.

"I agree that we should simplify the federal tax code, expand the standard deduction and help families afford child care," Duckworth said. "However, I cannot support a proposal that is at the expense of those who need tax relief like homeowners."

In June, Duckworth helped reintroduce legislation to support working families in Illinois and across the country by expanding two low-income and middle-class tax credits. The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2017 would expand eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to more Americans while making it easier to claim it, strengthen the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and also help ensure the federal tax system does not force hardworking Americans into poverty.

Full text of the Senators' letter is below.

October 30, 2017

The Honorable Bruce Rauner
Governor of the State of Illinois
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Rauner:

Congressional Republicans have proposed eliminating the state and local tax (SALT) deduction as part of their recently-released tax plan-a move that would increase taxes on nearly one-third of all taxpayers in Illinois. The state and local tax deduction is used by 44 million people nationwide, including by nearly 2 million Illinoisans, to avoid being taxed twice on their hard-earned income-once at the state level and again at the federal level. We request information regarding how the Republican effort to repeal the state and local tax deduction would impact Illinois families and our state's economy.

Illinoisans claimed more than $24 billion in SALT deductions in 2015. As the state with the fifth highest number of taxpayers who claim this deduction, Republican efforts to repeal the state and local tax deduction would be uniquely damaging to our state. We have heard from local officials across Illinois who are concerned that eliminating the state and local tax deduction would make it difficult to fund essential local education programs, infrastructure projects, and social services.

You are acutely aware of the budgetary challenges facing our state-eliminating the state and local tax deduction would only exacerbate those challenges by placing downward pressure on the State and local governments to reduce the amount of revenue raised through taxation and by leaving nearly two million Illinoisans with less money in their pockets with which to participate in the local economy and contribute to sales and other consumptions taxes.

Further, according to a recent Price Waterhouse Coopers report prepared for the National Realtors Association, not only would eliminating the SALT deduction raise taxes on Illinois residents, but when combined with other proposed changes under the Republican tax plan, eliminating the deduction also would cause home values to fall by 10 percent on average. For localities across Illinois that have higher-than-average property and income tax rates, the impact on home values could be even more severe.

The Republican proposal to eliminate the state and local tax deduction would be devastating for working families and communities across Illinois. Therefore, we urge you to publically oppose the proposed elimination of this vital deduction, and we ask you to provide information on the impact repealing the deduction would have on Illinois families and our state's economy. Thank you for your attention to this important issue.