House hopeful says Illinois taxation killing business, driving out people
Jeff Keicher knows what it's like to help people in need.
An insurance professional who has assisted families in overcoming a variety of troubles, Keicher now sees an even bigger need: Stop the endless taxation being foisted on Illinoisans, including the recent proposal to hike the gas tax.
“We’re on the cusp of some amazing technology that is going to change the way we use our roads and infrastructure [while developing more smart cars]," Keicher told DeKalb Times. "A gas hike will be pushed down on the people who could least afford it and aspire to still use cars for gas mileage.”
He said the suggestion is made worse by the fact that Illinoisans just got hit with a 32 percent state income tax increase this summer.
“We’re one of the states with the overall highest tax burdens in the U.S., and I just don’t think that raising gas taxes is the solution,” Keicher said. “I think we have more of a spending problem than a revenue problem.”
Keicher, who is hoping to replace Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley), recently brought in dozens of people to his first fundraiser, including Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). He said he also spends up to 25 hours a week getting petitions signed and drumming up support.
“I am asking for help with petitions and listening to the concern of the voters because if I’m going to ask for their vote, I should know how they feel about certain government affairs that are going on,” Keicher said.
He also is concerned with the loss of businesses and people to nearby states.
“Two-thirds of Illinoisans live within forty-five minutes of a border, and this new gas tax would drive consumers across state lines to shop, harming our local businesses," Keicher said in a press release. "We can already see the impact the Cook County Soda Tax is having on purchases. It’s time to stop this endless stream of taxes and start growing our economy and creating good, middle-class jobs in the state.”
Keicher said he thinks Illinois is ready to get back to prosperous times.
"We have great industrial history, and I almost feel like we’re a tiger ready to pounce on some awesome economic opportunities," he said. "I just have to make sure that Illinois is on board locally.”
Keicher also wants to improve the dialogue among legislators, end "insider deals" and reduce unfunded mandates on local taxing bodies.
“I really feel I’m being called to do the right thing: to help people who are paying too much in taxes and to make sure that the state of Illinois is spending appropriately,” Keicher said.
One of the main complaints he hears in his canvassing is the cost of property taxes in Illinois.
“I think that my mission is in alignment to what I’m hearing folks talk about, so I think it’s incumbent upon me to stand up and try to help,” he said.