Illinois' J.B. Pritzker, Facing Tough Reelection, Proposes Grocery and Gas Tax Freeze

Currently in a tough reelection campaign, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker plans to announce several proposals on Wednesday to give residents tax relief for a year to counteract the nation's rising inflation rate.

Pritzker is set to announce the budget proposals to freeze taxes on gas and groceries in an annual budget address on Wednesday. The move is part of a plan to stop high inflation from further squeezing citizens' wallets, the Associated Press reported.

"We have a growing economy. We have growing revenues," the AP quoted Deputy Governor Andy Manar. "At the same time nationally, the governor understands that the surge in inflation is taking a bite out of people's pocketbooks. And it's hitting working families hard in Illinois."

The governor's Illinois Family Relief Plan includes three main parts and would save families an estimated $1 billion. For one year, the government would freeze fuel tax on gasoline, suspend the 1 percent sales tax on groceries and give homeowners an income tax credit of up to 5 percent of their property taxes, The State Journal-Register reported.

According to the plan, the state would freeze taxes on gasoline prices to remain at about 39.2 cents per gallon. According to the AP, Manar said without the freeze the tax would jump 6.9 percent to 41.4 cents per gallon by July 1.

The governor's plan proposes suspension of the state's 1 percent grocery sales tax, which generates $360 million in revenue for local governments. To make up for the loss in revenue, the state would replace the money from the grocery sales tax that goes to local municipalities, according to the AP.

Lastly, the governor's plan includes a one-time property tax rebate of up to $300. Manar said every property owner can receive up to 5 percent in income tax credit for paid property taxes. The AP reported the rebate would cost the state roughly $475 million.

"The governor believes it's important to focus on the cost of groceries, the cost of gas and the property tax burden and bring relief to families across the state," Manar was quoted by the Chicago Tribune.

The tax cut announcement comes as Pritzker is in a challenging reelection campaign facing five GOP candidates. Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who has announced a bid to run for governor, said Pritzker's budget announcement was "election-year gimmicks."

According to the AP, Eleni Demertzis, Irvin's spokeswoman, said the proposals "aren't going to take back our state from out-of-control crime, higher taxes and corruption."

She added, "To do that, we need a new governor."

Illinois Governor Proposes Tax Break From Inflation
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, currently in a tough reelection campaign, has proposed a new state budget that would temporarily freeze taxes on gas and groceries in an attempt to curb inflation rates. Above, Pritzker is photographed. Saul Loeb/ AFP/Getty Images