SPRINGFIELD — State Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, spoke out this week against a proposal to implement a graduated income tax increase in Illinois, calling the idea “unnecessary and unwise” for Illinois taxpayers.

The proposed constitutional amendment is scheduled to be heard by the House Revenue and Finance Committee on Monday, May 20.

The tax increase proposal — Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 — would change the state constitution from a flat income tax where everyone pays the same percentage of their income to the state in taxes, to one where lawmakers could set different rates on different groups of people. Supporters expect to raise taxes by more than $3 billion should the amendment be enacted.

“Twice in this decade Springfield politicians have raised our taxes so they could increase spending,” Bennett said. “Raising them again will just create the temptation for even more reckless spending, and even more tax increases. It is an endless cycle. We can balance our budget without raising taxes if we are willing to work together and if we are determined to spend taxpayer dollars wisely.”

The amendment passed the Illinois Senate earlier this spring. It needs a three-fifths supermajority to pass the House. If it does, it would then be up to Illinois voters at the November 2020 election to decide whether to approve or disapprove amending the constitution.

“Last year we worked together and passed a bipartisan balanced budget without raising any new taxes,” Bennett said. “This month we learned that the state took in over a billion dollars more than projected, which means we can balance this year’s budget without raising taxes. Changing the constitution to give Springfield politicians a blank check to raise taxes however much they want on whoever they want is both unnecessary and unwise.”