FILE - Willie Wilson

In this Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson speaks to reporters after submitting nominating petitions at the Chicago Board of Elections in Chicago.

A millionaire businessman and former Chicago mayoral candidate criticized fellow Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker for passing a budget and infrastructure tax hikes that he said don’t help Illinois’ working class.

Willie Wilson is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. He didn’t make it through the first round of the Democratic primary for the Chicago mayoral contest in February.

He announced that he’s forming a political action committee and criticized the newly-enacted state budget. Wilson said the state budget, along with coming tax hikes in the infrastructure plan, would hurt businesses and residents.

“They’re going give themselves a raise in pay in Springfield, what’s that all about when you’re raising the taxes on the citizen,” he said. “The poor and the middle class are the ones that are going to hurt the most.”

Pritzker responded to that criticism when he signed the budget last week. The governor said the state's lack of infrastructure spending leads to other costs.

“When you drive to work and hit all those potholes and you get a flat tire, that costs you money,” Pritzker said.

Wilson invited controversy into his mayoral bid when he held a number of cash giveaways at churches in Chicago. He said the money was to help Chicago residents with their property tax bills.

The giveaways were challenged, but the Illinois State Board of Elections deemed them legal because Wilson used his personal money.

Staff Writer

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.