House 51 candidates Bos, Edly-Allen differ on proposed graduated tax

  • Republican challenger Chris Bos, left, and Democrat incumbent Mary Edly-Allen are candidates for the 51st House District in Tuesday's election.

    Republican challenger Chris Bos, left, and Democrat incumbent Mary Edly-Allen are candidates for the 51st House District in Tuesday's election.

Updated 10/29/2020 9:55 PM

The candidates vying for the 51st House District seat differ on the graduated income tax amendment, although both oppose any tax on retirement benefits.

Incumbent Mary Edly-Allen, a Libertyville Democrat, is facing Chris Bos, a Lake Zurich Republican, in Tuesday's election. The district includes all or portions of the Barrington area, Lake Zurich, Long Grove, Libertyville and Mundelein.


The ballot also includes a referendum on a constitutional amendment allowing for a graduated income tax to replace the state's flat tax. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration calls it the "Fair Tax," saying 97% of taxpayers -- those who make under $250,000 per year -- would pay the same or less in income taxes under its plan, while wealthier taxpayers would pay more.

Edly-Allen supports the graduated tax, which should be coupled with a reduction in spending to protect middle class taxpayers from future tax hikes, she said.

"We all want good roads, we all want good bridges, we all want good schools ... we all want all these great services, but who's paying going to pay for them?" she said.

Bos said the graduated tax will be detrimental to local businesses and a deterrent to entrepreneurship, with no guarantees against future tax increases on middle- and lower-income residents.

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"Springfield's proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted," he said.

Both candidates said they support legislative ethics reform, including term limits for legislative leaders. Lawmakers should be prohibited from becoming lobbyists after they leave office, both said -- for at least one year, Edly-Allen said, or at least two years, Bos said.

To help solve the state's pension problem, Bos said, the legislature needs to pass a state constitutional amendment to allow comprehensive reform, and lawmakers should not take their General Assembly pensions.

Edly-Allen said the pension problem must be tackled in a bipartisan manner with input from all stakeholders. She's in favor of keeping pension promises, but it's imperative to figure out what can be done moving forward, she said.

As for climate change, Bos said humans have an impact on it, while Edly-Allen said humans cause it. Bos said he supports clean energy technology. Edly-Allen said she supports investing in clean energy programs and jobs that reduce reliance on fossil fuels.


Neither candidate expressed support for defunding police.

Bos said police must have adequate resources and training, and must understand the needs and concerns of the communities served. The legislature can help provide better jobs in low-income communities and tax relief for property owners and small businesses, he said.

Edly-Allen said local police should get more funding for community policing, body cameras and de-escalation training. Also, the state should invest more in programs that provide economic and educational opportunities in minority communities, she said.

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