By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

If you’ve listened to Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the past few weeks, you’ve heard him play games with words. We called him out on it recently and now he’s doing it again. 

Listen to this recent interview. In the space of a few minutes Gov. Pritzker says his purported $3.6 billion progressive tax will go to fix Illinois’ nearly $3 billion dollar deficit and help pay down the state’s $6.5 billion in unpaid bills, all while providing an income tax cut to lower-income Illinoisans. 

But then in the same breath, he also implies that the progressive tax can provide property tax relief. 

Gov. Pritzker’s being tricky. Any Illinoisan who hasn’t paid much attention to the progressive tax debate so far would come away thinking that the governor was promising property tax relief on top of everything else. 

But mathematically, Pritzker can’t deliver all three things. 

Here’s specifically what he said in the interview:

  1. The progressive tax is needed to pay unpaid bills and fix the state’s “almost $3 billion dollar structural deficit.” 
  2. The tax can offer property tax relief. “The only way you can correct for that [high property taxes] is in the income tax.” Senate President Don Harmon has promised the same thing in the past: “The fair income tax would allow us to generate that income at the statewide level and push down the pressure on property taxes.”
  3. The tax will “actually lower taxes or keep taxes the same for 97 percent of people.”

Here’s the problem with that:

If the progressive tax fixes the budget deficit and delivers a tax cut, then there will be no money for property tax relief.

If Pritzker wants to fix the deficit and provide property tax relief, then he needs to raise billions more in revenue, meaning no tax cuts for anybody.

And if he wants to provide relief on both income and property taxes, then he’ll leave a multi-billion dollar hole in the state’s 2021 budget.

Lets hope there are a few Illinois reporters brave enough to question Gov. Pritzker about his failed progressive tax math.


Read more about how the proposed progressive income tax will fail Illinois:

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L. Turner

The takers are outnumbering the givers, a totally corrupt state. We’ve already sold our house and will leave for a red state. People are leaving this state in droves-fact.

An American that cares!!!

Pritzker isn’t a governor, He is a Mafia syndicate crime boss! A $50 increase on license plates/sticker, a rip off vehicle purchase tax, and wants to raise property taxes 100%!!! Pritzker and the Madigan machine have should be removed from office! The Swamp in Illinois government must be Drained!!!

The Truth Hurts

How is he a mafia crime boss? He ran on a platform of increasing taxes and spending and he is implementing his plan. The Illinois voters asked for him to do this. Why would he be removed from office for that? Statements like these are just the other side of the coin of “Trump is dictator”. “We need to remove him from office or we will lose our country” Usually just an indication that the person doesn’t want to accept the results of an election. You may not like him but he is a duly elected Governor that is implementing… Read more »

Greg Kijek

Illinois at it its finest. Moving from Illinois has been my best financial move yet.


I’m still here don’t want to purchase a new vehicle till this tax things is changed if ever, seriously thinking about getting out of here myself.

left for NV

Not only is the weather way better but I am saving so much in taxes I can literally afford to stay at the 4 seasons in Chicago for 2 months if I wanted to in taxes not paid! So glad my money isn’t being thrown into a bottomless black hole known as pension obligations, literally the best thing I could do was get the hell out of Illinois, you’d have to be a complete masochist to stay!


Start paying your own taxes, Governor Flintstone! You’re a billionaire who never earned a single dime, by yourself. We little, insignificant people already pay more than our share in taxes, while you rich people contribute zero.


This man has lost his mind! It’s always raise raise raise and never cut cut cut. It’s the working Men and women suffering in the state of Illinois and they want to take everything we make. Pretty soon they’ll be taking our checks and giving us $20 a week to live on. I’m leaving this state as fast as I can.


This guy can’t even keep his tongue in his mouth.


Big fat head

Ted machnicki

Makes me laugh


If only it were so easy to cut and spend less. IIRC, in round numbers, 25% of the budget is pension costs, and another 27% or so is medicaid/healthcare. So that’s over half the budget that’s literally untouchable. Another huge chunk is education, something like 15-20%, good luck trying to get even 1 penny of that cut through the legislature! So all that’s left is transportation (ooops just passed a $45B infrastructure bridge to nowhere boondoogle), operating budget, and other small misc categories. So when there are cuts, they tend to come from the operational categories, which just causes further… Read more »

Illinois Entrepreneur

She wants to leave a Tier 1 teaching job for a “private sector” job with social security? This appears to be Theater of the Absurd to me. One thing I’ve long noted is that most teachers have no idea how the private sector actually works. Not only will they be working far longer hours, but the work will be less fulfilling (filthy capitalists, you know), far less benefits, far lower job security, and a salary for their skill set far lower than what the government pays. Oh, and MUCH less sick days and vacation. Not to mention that social security… Read more »

The Truth Hurts

Probably only said it to appease someone complaining about pensions. My guess is that it isn’t the first time she has heard that. She has no intention of leaving.


I think she knows that when her retirement comes in 25 years, there might not be any money to pay her. A lot of people are likely thinking the same thing. The state isn’t exactly our brightest and smartest workers anymore.

Illinois Entrepreneur

Maybe she could…I don’t know…save some money for herself? Why is it that government employees consider “retirement saving” to be such an odd concept that only private sector people should have to contend with?

Or is it that they are entitled people who don’t understand that we the taxpayers should not be on the hook for every need and creature comfort they desire, including a defined benefit retirement that we can only dream about?


It’s hard to save money on a teacher’s salary when your DuPage County taxes are $10,000+ a year!


Tollways, red cameras, casino, bag tax, water tax, air tax, income tax, llottery, icense plate went up to $150, property tax, tickets, shady court system, what goes up never goes down, when is every one gone realize the state of Illinois dose not work for the people, they work against the people. Theres no mercy. Why can’t all the government employees donate one month of their salary to pay for the corruption.

The Truth Hurts

Those are all small taxes compared to what they still have in the holster. In the not too distant future the progressive tax will start taxing top earners in the 12-13% range with middle class paying eventually paying 7%. They can also start taxing services. Your hair cut, plumbing services, house painting needs to be taxed to help out. Not to mention Illinois doesn’t tax retirement income. Lots of money out their for the state to grab.


The services tax would be bad, very bad, for small businesses. Most services are just small businesses, like your barber, plumber, lawyer, lawn care, etc. It would be a logical nightmare that would entrap literally hundreds of thousands of otherwise law abiding individuals whose only crime would be not collecting enough tax from their clients to feed the state’s pension obligations. The fines alone levied against your service providers would be crippling to small businesses.


I couldn’t have said that better.


You tell em Sam!

Get serious

How many times have we heard the same reason before and it hasn’t fixed ANYTHING. DUMB politicians always figure they can spend new money twice. ILLINOIS POLITICIANS HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM. And no amount of tax is going to fix it. Illinois kicked the can down the road far too long and now are at the end if the road. Casinos didn’t bring in enough tax, now pot isn’t bringing enough tax.

Old Grey Mere

Do dumb politicians reflect something about the voters? You make a good case for reducing taxes but then how do you propose to fund pensions? Why have teacher unions stood by and done nothing about under-funding while demanding pay raises? In other words, why do they expect to have their cake and eat it too? That’s both dumb and childish. Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” What we have now is the result of insanity. That result is there isn’t enough money… Read more »


If there is plenty to pay tier 2 teachers to “retire ” after 10 years of working 180 days a year, 6.7 hours a day, at 60 (or 59 or 58 depending on banked sick days),
Then there is plenty to compensate nurses and all health care workers with a new defined benefit plan of similar quality.

Fight fire with fire. Nothing else is working.

Get serious

Notwithstanding the idiocy of your comments about teachers work schedule, Teachers pension are unfunded by BILLIONS. WHY WOULD YOU WANT THAT? Retirement Russian Roulette. It’s not possible to pay defined benefits if there aren’t contributions.

Jeff Carter

He has no ethics. He cheated on property taxes. He trimmed to buy a Senate seat. He bought a Guv seat

Prob gonna have HotRod come run an office for him now since he’s out.


Mike Mike

The Governor is basically saying portions of the new revenue obtained from increasing income taxes on the rich would be devoted to property tax relief, the state budget deficit, and unpaid bills, while keeping income taxes the same or actually lowering them for some. And that there is much more work to be done. All that is true or probably will be true. Guess what. You can put more money to paying off a credit card, but the balance can still increase. As is often the case when listening to a politician, what they are not telling you is a… Read more »


The so-called Fair Tax increase doesn’t even cover this year’s operating deficit. The incremental revenue to the fisc, typically lower than predicted, can’t go to reducing pension liabilities, other state liabilities, or reduction in property tax. Nothing about Illinois makes financial sense.


The fair tax isn’t about the ‘fair tax’. It’s really about the constitutional amendment in and of itself, to tax, like california and NY, all income above $40K at 10%+


Increasing one tax to lower another tax is just a “shell game.”

The Truth Hurts

Of course it’s unethical. So why would he do it? The average voter doesn’t actually do any homework they just listen to the soundbite. If any Illinois Governor told the truth they would need to say…”We are deep in debt and we are also running a deficit. We need to increase taxes and cut spending wherever possible. That means Illinois citizens will get fewer services and everything will cost more. If we want to decrease property taxes we will need an across the board income tax increase to go along with the progressive tax.” Not exactly a winning message. So… Read more »


I predict it will be the same old blame game — fair tax will be pushed/sold as relief on FUTURE prop taxes that will be required to offset dire situation due to evil t, salt ,rauner..etc.. The public’s incredibly stupid, even the home owner–thats what machine counts on. Few will even listen /read speach


Illinois is making Enough Money off the Marijuana sales to take care of these outrageous taxes this Illinois destroying Democratic Party.


Not even close.