State Rep. hopeful targets rival as booster of failed 2020 ‘fair tax’ referendum

Republican State Rep. candidate Scott Preston
Republican State Rep. candidate Scott Preston(25 News Now/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 11:23 PM CDT
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MCLEAN COUNTY (25 News Now) - The Republican candidate for State Representative in the newly-drawn 91st House District summoned the help of some statewide GOP leaders to highlight his rival’s position on taxes.

Scott Preston is criticizing Democrat Sharon Chung’s support for a graduated income tax in Illinois, which would raise tax rates for higher income earners. Currently, there is a flat income tax.

“We have been taxed so much in Illinois and working families have been hurt, continually, from one thing to another. It is time that somebody puts people over politics,” said Preston.

Chung, meanwhile, is noting Preston supported higher taxes during his time on the Normal Town Council.

The highest-ranking Republican in the Illinois House, Jim Durkin, joined Preston at a news conference Monday at the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.

“Clearly, Sharon Chung is running to represent herself and her extreme ideology, while Scott Preston simply wants to make Illinois a safer, and more affordable place to live,” said Durkin, who is the House Minority Leader.

“Chung promotes a tax hike that the district already rejected overwhelmingly. Electing politicians who tell you when they run that they plan to ignore the will of the voters is a gambit that taxpayers cannot afford to lose in Central Illinois,” Durkin said in a prepared statement.

Voters rejected the so-called ‘fair tax’ in the November 2020 election.

Besides Durkin, Preston was joined by Republican candidate for Treasurer Tom Demmer from Dixon and GOP Secretary of State candidate Dan Brady of Bloomington. Demmer and Brady are currently House members.

Chung is currently on the McLean County Board. Her campaign released a statement at 25 News Now’s request. She said Preston has voted to raise taxes as a council member in Normal. Chung said she favors cutting taxes for the middle-class.

“Scott Preston is bringing things up that are not on the ballot this year because he doesn’t want voters to know that his record as a politician includes voting six times to raise taxes on everyone, more than doubling the property tax levy during his decade in office, and raising taxes on utilities and gas. If he was truly for working and middle class families, he would support the Workers Rights Amendment, which is on the ballot this fall. My team and myself knocked on 12,000 doors in September, so we are out there every day, directly talking to voters about the things that matter to them. I want to cut taxes on middle-class families. I support expanding exemptions for people in our community and closing corporate loopholes that help billionaires avoid paying anything. But the only person trying to revive the 2020 tax amendment debate is Scott Preston because his own record speaks for itself: his tax increases show that he doesn’t stand for working and middle class families.”

Democratic State Rep. candidate Sharon Chung
Democratic State Rep. candidate Sharon Chung(25 News Now/Heart of Illinois ABC)

Preston and Chung are each competing to represent the new 91st House District, which includes a large portion of Bloomington-Normal, plus some parts of Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria Counties.