By: Marian Johns, Will County Gazette
As a recently released U.S. Census Bureau report shows that Chicago’s population continues to drop for the third year in a row, the Republican candidate for Illinois House District 98 says a lack of job and economic opportunities are what is driving people away from the state.
Alyssia Benford, who is a founding partner of one of the largest minority female-owned CPA firms in the country, Benford Brown and Associates, told Will County Gazette she is ready to fight for business and economic growth.
“Increasing taxes and lack of jobs and economic opportunities is driving the exodus from Chicago and Illinois,” Benford said. “Illinois still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.”
“We have to change the overall culture in this state and elect independent leaders that will serve the people in our communities,” Benford said.
Benford said she wants to keep local tax dollars in local communities.
“I support keeping local tax dollars local,” she said.
“In July 2017, the Illinois budget that was passed included several tax increases, including an increase in business taxes, personal taxes and a new 2 percent service tax fee for sales tax collected,” Benford said.
“The 2 percent service tax fee will increase the state revenue by an estimated $60 million annually while taking the money from the local communities,” she said. “My opponent voted for the last budget which included what I call the ‘$60 million surprise.’”
Benford pointed to her opponent, Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet), for her voting record regarding the business community.
“My opponent received a rating of 45 percent from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce based on how her votes impact the business community,” Benford said.
“The National Federation of Independent Businesses — NFIB, the voice of small business — gave my opponent a ranking of 25 percent regarding her attitude toward small businesses,” she said. “Voters should research how their elected officials are actually voting.
“We have to work together with businesses of all sizes to keep businesses in Illinois, which will keep jobs in Illinois,” she said. “I plan to be the voice for my community and work hard to restore the businesses and economic growth in Illinois.”