On March 26, State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) unveiled Senate Joint-Resolution Constitutional Amendment 12 which would put in place more stringent safeguards to protect taxpayers from future tax increases.
“As Democratic lawmakers continue to seek ways to siphon even more from the pocketbooks of our taxpayers and at a time when taxes are higher than they’ve ever been, it is crucial that we take precautionary steps to protect taxpayers,” said Righter.
Currently, only a simple majority is required to pass a tax increase or to implement any new tax. SJRCA 12 proposes to change the threshold. Under the proposal, two-thirds of lawmakers in both the Illinois Senate and the House of Representatives—otherwise known as a supermajority—would be required to approve any future tax increases brought before the General Assembly. If passed, the constitutional amendment would place the initiative on the ballot for the next statewide election.
“SJRCA 12 would strengthen the Constitution, empowering taxpayers and providing enhanced protections for our middle class,” said Righter. “As Illinois already has one of the highest overall tax burdens in the nation, adding this extra measure of security to the process is just common sense.”
“Requiring a super majority to raise taxes is something I support and the people of Illinois should have the opportunity to have their say on this issue,” commented Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland). “We cannot trust the Governor or Democrats on their track record of taxing and spending in Illinois. The Governor is already back-peddling on his promise about 97% of taxpayers getting tax relief.”
Righter, who is the Chief Co-Sponsor of SJRCA 12, noted that currently 15 states impose some kind of supermajority requirement—two-thirds, three-fourths or three-fifths of the legislature—to raise or implement taxes. Furthermore, similar proposals have been introduced by legislators in Illinois in the past.
“I ran for the Illinois General Assembly promising to oppose all tax increases on our families and businesses,” added Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) “We saw what happened with the last tax increase. The people in my district are opposed to tax increases and will continue to be opposed to any tax increase without structural changes in how the state spends money.”
If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, any new state tax on any state tax increase would need 40 votes in the Senate and 79 votes in the House.