Demmer pushes against taxing retirement income in Illinois

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:15 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Republican candidate for Treasurer said Illinois should not tax retirement income.

There were rumors in 2020 that Treasurer Mike Frerichs said Illinois may have to tax retirement income like pensions and 401Ks if voters failed to approve the graduated income tax amendment. Fifty-four percent of Illinois voters rejected the Pritzker administration’s “Fair Tax” proposal during the 2020 election, but Frerichs also denies he ever said taxing retirement was an option.

Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) said Republicans stand with the majority of Illinoisans who voted against the graduated income tax plan. Demmer said Tuesday that Democrats increased spending by 10% in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget while state revenues are declining.

He feels Democrats like Gov. JB Pritzker and Frerichs will be asking for another tax increase to make up for less revenue over the next few years.

“That should be off the table. The voters have spoken,” Demmer said. “The people of Illinois have spoken and we should not be considering further graduated tax amendments or further income tax increases.”

Demmer has created a petition for voters to tell Illinois leaders they don’t support a tax on retirement income. The petition is already on Demmer’s campaign website. Demmer’s team asks if supporters agree that we should protect, not tax, Illinois citizens’ retirement.

He also filed a House Resolution earlier this year to affirm trust in Illinois voters rejecting the path to taxing retirement income. Although, that resolution only has Republican co-sponsors and never left the House Rules Committee.

Frerichs said Tuesday that he has opposed creating a retirement tax for years and stressed that anyone contradicting it is lying.

“The facts are simple: Tom Demmer is desperate because Tom Demmer is a failure,” Frerichs said. “He walked hand-in-hand with Gov. Rauner to support legislation that attacked working families, attacked teachers, and nearly bankrupt Illinois.”

Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) speaks during a press conference in Springfield on August 9,...
Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) speaks during a press conference in Springfield on August 9, 2022.(Mike Miletich)

Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) supported Demmer’s effort during a press conference at the Capitol Tuesday morning. Butler said he is glad voters rejected the so-called Fair Tax because it would have led to uncertainty for many people.

Butler mentioned that his sister moved back to Illinois from Washington state and was glad she wouldn’t have to worry about a retirement tax.

“She wasn’t happy about her property taxes coming back, but what she said was that one advantage we have in Illinois is the fact that we wouldn’t tax her retirement,” Butler said. “Not taxing retirement income is one of the advantages we have here in the state of Illinois to try to attract people to the state of Illinois.”

Demmer claimed that Frerichs has supported raising taxes on all Illinoisans since 2007. He also believes someone serving as treasurer should be accountable to voters and advocate for things that a majority of Illinoisans believe in.

“Beyond the specific constitutional role of treasurer, the treasurer should be a watchdog and an outspoken advocate for responsible financial policies,” Demmer said. “They should be talking about the decisions we’re making today are affecting our fiscal future.”

Meanwhile, Frerichs said the state and country need more common sense instead of drama, deceit, and divisiveness.

“We need officials who will fight for regular people, for working people, for people who feel marginalized and left behind,” said Frerichs. “We can have safe streets, good schools, and local control when we respect each other. Tom Demmer’s record shows he does not respect women, does not respect working families, and will not work with all of Illinois.”

The General Election is Nov. 8.

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