In May, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago published an opinion piece which proposed a way to pay down our state’s massive unfunded pension liability. The solution? Raise property taxes on every homeowner in the state by around 1% of a home’s actual property value every year for the next 30 years. In their words, "homeowners with homes worth $250,000 would pay an additional $2,500 per year in property taxes, those with homes worth $500,000 would pay an additional $5,000" etc. Some elected officials in Springfield support ideas such as this one, or others like it, which result in crushing tax increases for everyone. I want to make it clear to voters why I stand against such proposals and why they ultimately don’t solve the state’s fiscal crisis.
According to the ratings agency Fitch, Illinois has the highest pension burden of all 50 states; a cost that some estimate to be over $250 billion. It’s important to point out that the Chicago economists who crafted this tax plan relied on a much smaller figure, $129 billion, when coming up with their proposal to raise taxes on every Illinois homeowner for the next three decades. This means that if enacted, this proposal would actually fall well short of eliminating the pension cost and taxpayers would still be on the hook for more.
There are several assumptions that these economists made that our leaders cannot afford to entertain. We cannot assume, or trust, that Illinois will succeed in making its regular payments to the pension system because it has failed to do so in the past. We cannot assume that it is somehow "fair" for taxpayers to bear responsibility for correcting the terrible public policy that has led us to where we are now. We cannot assume that such proposals will not in fact worsen our fiscal crisis. For instance, Illinois lost more population than any other between 2016 and 2017, according to census estimates. If so many of our fellow citizens are choosing to pack up and leave the state now, imagine how much out-migration will increase if schemes like this one are put in place.
In their paper, the authors acknowledge that it would be difficult for many taxpayers to bear the burden of this new tax. They admit, and actually count on the fact, that this idea would drive down home values and they even recommend imposing a steep tax penalty for any existing homeowner who attempts to sell their home and leave the state. Yes, you read that right. What a scary concept. Tax homeowners, destroy property values, and penalize the ones who try to leave, effectively making them prisoners in their own homes. The effect that this measure would have on economic confidence in Illinois would be disastrous and the hardship placed on working families is shocking and immoral. Only academics in their ivory towers could concoct an idea like this one without reflecting more carefully on the terrible consequences faced by already over-taxed families throughout Illinois.
Thankfully this plan has been met with widespread criticism and is unlikely to gain traction, but its outline is representative of a larger, and very real, problem in Illinois: career politicians will continue to punish innocent taxpayers for their sins. They will talk about shared sacrifice to address the pension issue, but the pain is always felt most by the middle income taxpayer. I will not allow plans such as this one to go unchallenged in Springfield and every Illinoisan should view similar proposals with great skepticism. If history is any indication, you can count on the state to significantly underestimate the true cost of such plans.
We cannot continue to raise taxes on a continuously shrinking tax base. We need new leaders with long-term solutions, not Band-Aids, to fix the serious problems we face.
Troy, IL – Springfield lawmakers are now considering a bill, House Bill 5878, that would significantly increase penalties for politicians who abuse their power for financial gain. This anti-corruption measure is supported by Governor Bruce Rauner and was formally introduced by Representative Grant Wehrli. Jason Plummer, who is currently running for as the Republican for State Senate in the 54th district, says he supports the bill.
"One of the reasons that people and businesses are afraid to come to Illinois is the fact our state has one of the worst reputations for public corruption in the country," Plummer said. "This specific bill does two things: it demonstrates to the public that Illinois is serious about punishing criminal politicians and it promotes a political culture where the consequences of violating the public trust are real and severe. I applaud Governor Rauner and Rep. Wehrli for bringing this issue to the forefront."
Public corruption is a big problem for Illinoisans, costing the state an estimated $16.7 billion between 1997 and 2008 and the federal Northern District of Illinois had the most public corruption convictions of any district in the country between 1976 and 2010.
Plummer is campaigning for political reform across the board. "Every political system has bad actors, but Illinois has a political system that creates bad actors. This problem is closely related to the fact that we don’t have term limits and we allow career politicians to draw gerrymandered political districts. I want voters to know that I will be a strong, independent voice for political reform and for punishing those who abuse their power and harm the state’s already battered reputation."
The full release can be obtained here: https://bit.ly/2KvSyZe
Troy, IL – Since the April 16th passage of a resolution by the Effingham County Board declaring the county to be a sanctuary for gun owners, four additional counties have taken the same dramatic step to effectively nullify any restrictive state law that infringes on Second Amendment Rights. Republican State Senate candidate Jason Plummer is praising local leaders for taking the initiative to uphold the Constitution.
"I think that gun owners everywhere should be really encouraged by the steps that local leaders like State's Attorney Bryan Kibler, Board Member David Campbell, and others have taken to protect their rights from Chicago Democrats who are really ramping up their efforts to undermine the Second Amendment," Plummer said. "They have started a prairie fire and what this shows is that local people can take a stand and turn the tables on government overreach."
In the wake of mass shootings in Florida and Las Vegas, Democratic legislators in Springfield have introduced a number of proposed bills that would restrict and infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
"I support the Second Amendment and frankly the legislation coming out of Springfield is appalling. Chicago gives us a prime example of how not to do things - from guns, to taxation, to corruption. With these bills, Chicago Democrats have really shown their true colors and their fundamental antagonism toward law-abiding gun owners and dealers. Chicago needs our Southern Illinois values, we don't need theirs. I'll be a strong voice against these anti-gun proposals that flaunt the Constitution and individual liberty."
The full release can be obtained here: https://bit.ly/2I7Rkqf
Expresses gratitude to supporters and optimism for the future
I am truly humbled by the opportunity given to me by Republican voters in the 54th District to stand for election in November and to be their nominee for Illinois State Senate. This campaign could not have succeeded were it not for the extraordinary work and dedication of volunteers and supporters from across the eight counties of this district. I am deeply grateful for their support, their trust, and for their passion for the future of Southern Illinois.
Looking ahead, I will continue to be a loud voice for the issues that Southern Illinois families care about and deal with every day. I spoke often during this campaign about the vital importance of attracting quality jobs, lowering taxes, supporting law enforcement in the fight against opioids, and standing up for traditional values and I will continue to do so. I am committed to reaching every voter and carrying this message across the 54th State Senate District through November.
My personal commitment to the people of the 54th District is that as your Illinois State Senator, I will work tirelessly for Southern Illinois families and communities. I will be an independent and effective voice to create quality jobs and lower out of control taxes. I look forward to the campaign ahead and the chance to meet with and listen to voters of all stripes. Illinois has tremendous potential and together we can begin to fix our problems so that Illinois is once again is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
Troy, IL – Having already earned vocal support from multiple pro-life and pro-family organizations and leaders, Jason Plummer’s state senate campaign has now also been endorsed by the Illinois Federation for Right to Life. The Illinois Federation for Right to Life is the leading advocate of the pro-life movement in Illinois and is strongly committed to the defense of the unborn.
"This endorsement means a great deal to me personally and I’m honored that the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has given me their support. My pro-life stance has always been an important part of my worldview. The issue goes beyond politics and to the heart of my faith, my conscience, and my understanding of what it means to be a human being. I will always vote to protect innocent life in Springfield."
The Federation for Right to Life supports only candidates who are committed to protecting the life. "We are excited to have a candidate seeking election for the 54th Senate District from Illinois, who will help protect the lives of those threatened by abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia" the group said their letter of endorsement. "Our society embraces a culture of death. We must work in the legislative arena to protect vulnerable human beings."
The full endorsement letter can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2tl3ZiP
Troy, IL – Jason Plummer, Republican candidate for State Senate, has received two high profile endorsements from the State’s Attorneys of Effingham and Fayette Counties. Bryan Kibler, State’s Attorney for Effingham County, and Josh Morrison, who is serving as Fayette County State’s Attorney, are both throwing their support behind Jason Plummer, a businessman, who has made law and order a central theme of his campaign.
"Jason's committed to protecting our community," Kibler stated. "For example, Jason has reached out early and often seeking to help my office find solutions needed to combat the opioid epidemic. His beliefs and views reflect our shared values here in Effingham County. As our State Senator, I know that Jason will work hard to make our community even better. I’m encouraging everyone to vote for Jason Plummer in the Republican Primary on March 20th."
Morrison believes Plummer is the strongest and best prepared candidate in the race. "Jason Plummer knows Southern Illinois. He has proven knowledge of our workforce, the community, and what businesses need to be successful. His commitment to law enforcement and ending the opioid epidemic are enough for me to give him my endorsement," Morrison said. "However, what really impresses me about him, and what I think will make him a great Senator, is his ability and willingness to listen to his constituents and to the needs of the community and passionately work for what is important to us."
Plummer, who is Vice President of R.P. Lumber Company and a veteran of the Navy Reserves, was honored by the support. "Effingham and Fayette Counties are very fortunate to have Josh Morrison and Bryan Kibler defending their communities. I’ve gotten to know them both and their dedication to public service is exemplary. My campaign is centered upon keeping our district safe and I look forward to working with local officials across the district to ensure that they have the resources and representation they need from Springfield," Plummer said.
The full endorsement letter can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2EL4yDO
Troy, IL – Tax Accountability, the political action arm of Taxpayers United of America, is throwing their support behind Jason Plummer for Illinois State Senate. Jason is currently campaigning in the 54th District Republican primary election. Taxpayers United of America is a national organization that works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes.
In their letter, Tax Accountability states that Plummer was endorsed because of his "expressed commitment to oppose the income tax increase" and that he has "also pledged to support economic freedom by working to decrease the overall tax burden of Illinois taxpayers."
"The only way to create quality jobs and bring prosperity back to Illinois is to lower taxes. Taxpayers in Southern Illinois have one of the highest overall tax burdens in the country and its killing jobs and driving people out of the state in droves" Plummer said. "Tax Accountability has done great work and I look forward to working with them to lower out-of-control property taxes, repeal the income tax increase, and block the new plans to create additional tax increases on hard-working Illinoisans."
The full endorsement letter can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2sfMqjw
Troy, IL – The political arm of the Illinois Family Institute, Illinois Family Action, announced that Jason Plummer has earned their full support in his campaign for Illinois State Senate in the 54th district. The announcement stated that "Plummer is a businessman and former statewide candidate, Republican County Chairman and a solid advocate of pro-family issues." Plummer was also endorsed recently by pro-life leader, Reagan appointee, and former state representative Penny Pullen.
David Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute, explained why Jason would be the strongest candidate to represent the faith and family values of Southern Illinois. "I've known Jason Plummer for many years now, and I recognize that he is a not just a good family man, but he is a man of deep faith who has been actively engaged in the political process for quite some time. I have every reason to believe that Jason will fight the tax-and-spend political establishment in Springfield and work diligently to promote policies that will strengthen families, preserve religious liberty and protect the dignity of human life at every stage, from conception to natural death."
Plummer says that he will fight for family values in Springfield and be a strong, independent voice for the people of Southern Illinois. " I'm proud to stand beside the Illinois Family Institute and have made defending our values a core part of my campaign. Without strong families, our communities cannot recover from the economic and spiritual challenges we face. As senator, I will fight to defend the religious freedom that forms the bedrock of our society and will work to ensure that the taxpayers of Southern Illinois do not have to foot the bill to terminate the lives of unborn children."
The Illinois Family Institute is a leader among the state's socially conservative groups. They are dedicated to preserving and advancing the interests of family, faith, and freedom in the political arena of Illinois. Jason Plummer was the only state senate candidate to earn Illinois Family Action's endorsement this cycle.
The full endorsement letter can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2BNaj1q
Troy, IL - Former state representative, President of the Life Advocacy Resource Project, and founder of the Illinois Family Institute Penny Pullen has endorsed Jason Plummer as the best candidate to defend traditional values in the Illinois State Senate, the Plummer campaign announced today.
Throughout her career, Pullen earned a strong reputation as a principled conservative and champion of pro-life and pro-family causes whose work had a profound impact on Illinois and the country.
"Having the support of someone as remarkable as Penny Pullen, who has fought tirelessly for decades to protect the rights of the unborn and protect family values is truly humbling," Plummer stated. "I have always looked up to Penny Pullen as a textbook example of what it means to be a good public servant and conservative leader and I am honored to accept her endorsement."
"I first got to know Jason years ago when he ran for Lt. Governor. His business experience and understanding of the economy are exactly the skillsets Illinois needs right now," Pullen was quoted as saying. "Jason also has deeply held personal convictions about the sanctity of life and the importance of family, which I know will make him a great asset for the people of his Senate district and all over Illinois."
Pullen was an Illinois State Representative for 16 years. She also served on three councils under Presidents Reagan and Bush and as a Republican National Committeewoman from Illinois.
The full endorsement letter can be found here: http://bit.ly/2nBR71y
Jason Plummer said Illinois' mass exodus is fueled more by maintaining political power than by making difficult, long-term policy decisions that would keep and attract people to Illinois.
The former lieutenant governor candidate now seeking a seat in the 54th Senate District since Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) announced he will not seek re-election, told the Metro East Sun the state has failed to provide an economic environment that offers growth and opportunity, instead it has implemented fiscal and regulatory policies that drive up taxes, kill quality jobs and send potential employers to neighboring states.
"In the category of business friendliness, a ranking by CNBC this year gave Illinois 47th place among the 50 states," Plummer said. "Illinois has great, hardworking people, abundant resources and wonderful assets. We should be an economic leader, but failed leadership and poor public policy over many years is destroying our great state.
The Edwardsville Republican said the people of Illinois want to stay by their families and in their communities, but are now slowly being priced out of their homes because of absurdly high property taxes.
"They watch as businesses, unable to compete, shut down and move to neighboring states," Plummer said, adding when quality jobs exit towns it is replaced by an inflow of drugs, crime and social decay. "Young people and families starting out who want to stay in Illinois are forced to seek opportunity elsewhere, where there is not a punitive tax and regulatory climate that discourages work and investment."
If elected, the GOP business man and Navy Reserves intelligence officer said he would help Illinois out of the perilous position it is in. "I have spent my career creating quality jobs in southern Illinois and I know what it takes to attract business and growth to our state," Plummer said.
Advancing legislation that will cap and reduce the property taxes, reverse income tax increases, reform workers' compensation and tort laws and reduce spending is how he will do it, he said.
"I will also be focused on working directly with state agencies to make needed changes to the regulatory system and coordinating with local units of government within the district to address their needs from the state," Plummer said.
Fairness and stability must occur to keep residents in the state, he said.
"This situation is not going to change overnight, but if we could roll back the massive new tax hike and reduce and cap out of control property taxes, families would have an easier time with their budget," Plummer said. "If we could fight lawsuit abuse and reform our broken workers' compensation system, we could better compete with our neighbors."
Transparency is also key to keeping Illinoisans home, he said..
"Currently, House Speaker (Mike) Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President (John) Cullerton (D-Chicago), and a select few others ultimately determine what the state's budget will look like in meetings where they are unaccountable to any public scrutiny," Plummer said. "The General Assembly does not follow the Open Meetings Act, does not respond to Freedom of Information requests, and stages elaborate ploys to avoid accountability from the people."