JB Pritzker will be sworn in as the new Governor of Illinois on Monday. He won the election that saw over $250 million spent by the candidates. Now, it’s local businesses concerned about what will happen with their money once he takes office. We spoke with one local farmer and several business owners about the impact they expect moving forward.
David Menold is a generational farmer in Dunlap. He’s lived on either side of West Park School Road his entire life. As a farmer and business owner, he has concerns about the economy in Illinois. “You’re telling us you’re gonna have a progressive income tax. That’s gonna affect me, as it is a lot of business owners,” he explained.
During JB Pritzker’s campaign he said he wanted to move to a progressive income tax. Currently Illinois has a 4.95% flat rate income tax. Pritzker has yet to divulge exactly what his tax plan entails.
Menold thinks pensions are part of the problem. “That’s the pension legacy we’re talking about. It’s causing problems for the state, because the state keeps having to bail out Chicago,” he explains. Menold says any progressive tax increases will be used to pay the pension debt. Other small businesses like ‘The Costume Trunk’ and ‘J-tec Industries’ told me they were eager to see what the Pritzker administration does, but it’s too early to speculate.
Menold says he doesn’t know if new policies will hurt farming specifically. But he says, “It’s gonna hurt us all if we don’t look at the revenue situation in Illinois and realize that we’re in a terrible hole.”
Pritzker leaned on infrastructure, manufacturing, and small businesses as main economic priorities. The Census Bureau says Illinois population continues to decline. Menold knows this tale all too well. His own daughter’s have left Illinois for Tennessee. They were able to find good paying jobs and keep more of their money. As for farmer’s like Menold, “For me it’s impossible to leave. I can’t take my ground with me,” he says.