In a new report of America’s 50 governors, Gov. JB Pritzker was ranked 47th due to the damage he has done to the state’s economy. The voters saved him from a lower rank by rejecting his “fair tax”.
Gov. JB Pritzker finds himself at the bottom of a new report on how U.S. governors are leading their states’ economies.
The American Legislative Exchange Council’s rankings appear in the 2021 Report on Economic Freedom: Grading America’s 50 Governors. The report ranked Pritzker 47th in the world – fourth from bottom – using a combination of Pritzker’s policies and the economic performance of the state under his leadership to form a list of 12 criteria.
One measure was Illinois’ economic performance in 2021: 48th in the nation, third worst. Economic performance was primarily held back by the departure of Illinois from the state. Illinois lost population in 2021 in 81 of 102 counties.
Voters kept Pritzker from ranking even lower by reversing his state income tax hike, ALEC chief economist Jonathan Williams said.
“The voters of Illinois stopped him from becoming 50th if they had passed the progressive income tax that was on the ballot recently and I know he advocated very strongly for it “Williams said.
Pritzker invested $58 million of his own dollars in the campaign to pass the “fair tax,” which would have allowed Illinois to begin taxing retirement income and state lawmakers to gradually raise taxes on different income brackets. Voters strongly rejected the tax in 2020, 55% to 45%.
Williams also pointed to pension debt as a major issue for Illinois.
“Whether it’s the massive amount of debt with Illinois public pension liabilities, whether we’re looking at corporate income taxes, personal income, on the line of all the things we measure” , Williams said.
The ALEC ranking features a new measure for 2021: how states spent their federal pandemic relief funds. Illinois still has an outstanding balance of unemployment debt that could be paid off through federal relief. A proposal to use $2.7 billion in federal funds falls short of the $4.5 billion debt and would trigger job-killing payroll taxes mandated by federal law to fill the unemployment trust fund.
State leaders also gave Illinois’ economy another potential blow by pushing Amendment 1. If voters pass the constitutional change on Nov. 8, public union bosses will be empowered to demand and make strike on a virtually limitless range of issues guaranteed to increase taxation in a state that already suffers from the highest tax burden in the country.