Ugaste calls for property tax reforms, less gimmicks to get state on track
Republican House candidate Dan Ugaste thinks lawmakers shot Illinois in the foot when they passed a 32 percent income tax hike last year.
Before the tax increase, the state saw an annual average jobs growth of 1.11 percent since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. However, employment growth declined by 34 percent in the last year while remaining unchanged across the rest of the country, according to the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI).
As depressing as he finds those numbers to be, Ugaste isn’t surprised, he said.
“They seem to correlate with everything you hear,” he told the Kane County Reporter. “For instance, right now in Rockford, Peoria and Chicago, we have three of the cities losing the most population from across the country. That’s a surefire sign of a job market not functioning as it needs to be.”
A crippled job market is one possible reason Illinois has also seen a population decline for the fourth straight year, with the working-age individuals being the largest group leaving the state, according to the Census Bureau.
Illinois’ prime working-age population declined 5 percent while the U.S. prime working-age population has grown 1.4 percent since the days of the Great Recession, according to government data. That is a rate of 1 person every 4.6 minutes, IPI reports.
“How can you have job growth when you’re losing people and businesses like that,” Ugaste said. “We desperately need reforms like property taxes to show the rest of the country we’re through with all the gimmicks and are serious about getting Illinois back on the right track.”
Ugaste is running against Democrat Richard Johnson to replace retiring Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) in the 65th District.