Martwick opponent vows to return state income tax to 3 percent
Ammie Kessem is taking the fight to Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) and hoping to take down Illinois' high taxes afterward.
"It’s something that weighs on a lot of people's minds right now,” Kessem told Chicago City Wire. “When I'm knocking on doors, people are extremely upset when it comes to their money.”
Kessem is used to being at people's doors: She's been on the Chicago police force since 1999. The longtime Union Ridge neighborhood resident now wants to arrest runaway state taxation, which she says is sometimes compounded by high taxes on the county and city level as well.
Describing higher costs for items like rental cars, hotel stays and theater tickets, as well as skyrocketing property taxes, Kessem said many citizens are fed up with seeing increased taxes without financial reforms.
“Where do we draw the line?” Kessem said.
Part of what concerns her is the active flight of families out of the state to find a life in a place with lower taxes.
“That is the really scary thing,” Kessem said. “A lot of them have already left.”
On the other hand, she said, her 40 active volunteers have seen a good response in her local precinct.
“Right now, it appears that we are pretty much on schedule,” Kessem said. “That's a good thing.”
In a statement on her website, Kessem lays out further goals, pledging to bring down state income tax rates from 4.95 percent to 3 percent, targeting some specific bills levying special taxes on services and products, such as Cook County’s beverage tax, which she calls “unfair,” and demanding a property tax freeze for 10 years.
Kessem also calls for term limits for state offices.
“Machine politicians like Robert Martwick should not be handed hereditary offices,” Kessem argues. “And leveraging a political office for personal financial gain is a breach of the public trust. State legislators should be limited to six years in public office.”
Interested voters can go to https://ammiefor19.com/ to find out more about the campaign, including some more planks of Kessem’s policy platform and data on upcoming events.