Schaumburg, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, has pledged to vote against any new legislation that would raise sales taxes for food and over the counter medicines. Mussman instead is calling for a change of focus to the root of the problem of food insecurity, which is an issue that places an enormous burden on struggling families within Illinois.
“Working families pay enough each year in taxes,” Mussman said. “My constituents need to know that I wholeheartedly disagree with this proposal to generate revenue for the state. Raising taxes on food and medicine would hurt the very people we’re trying to help.”
According to the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, almost 1.7 million Illinois residents still face food insecurity, a number greater than the entire populations of Hawaii, Montana, and 10 other states. In fact, the states with the highest taxes on food, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama, had the highest rates of food insecurity in 2014.
“I’ve decided to support House Resolution 116, which acknowledges that raising the tax on food and medicine in Illinois would be bad for families, as well as businesses,” Mussman said. “This type of tax will not help resolve the problems that low-income residents face. Instead, we should try to alleviate barriers to accessing and affording healthy food and necessary medications for low-income families.”
Illinois may also lose tax revenue to bordering states if this new tax is implemented. If Illinois increases taxes on food and drug, residents may drive to Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky to purchase those goods, causing additional harm to our economy.
Mussman serves the 56th District, which includes portions of Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Roselle, Rolling Meadows, and Palatine.