Gov. J.B. Pritzker to opponents of a graduated income tax: ‘Where’s their plan?’

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Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday took a more aggressive stance in advocating for his graduated-rate income tax plan, accusing Republicans and other opponents of demagoguery, fearmongering and “waging a misinformation campaign.”

Pritzker was joined by a host of Democratic lawmakers at a statehouse news conference to introduce a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would do away with the state’s flat income tax requirement and allow for a system where higher incomes are taxed at higher rates.

“Let the people vote,” Pritzker said. “We have a constitutional amendment process that ultimately puts this decision to the voters. It’s time to let the people of Illinois — our taxpayers — decide.”

The proposed constitutional amendment, filed by state Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, would eliminate the requirement of a single rate for all income-tax payers. A Senate committee hearing on the proposal is set for Wednesday morning.

“It’s easier for the Democrats to raise the rates under a graduated income tax, as they’ve tried to articulate in their presentation,” Brady said. “But we believe that puts middle-income families at severe risk, and the current constitution provides safeguards and protections for middle-income families that we desperately need to keep in Illinois.”

Lawmakers’ first hearing on the graduated income tax amendment happens to come on the same day as Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot’s first visit to Springfield since she won a landslide election last week. Lightfoot has been a supporter of a graduated income tax, though Pritzker’s plan would generate only about $40 million in new revenue for the city.

dpetrella@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @PetrellaReports

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April 9, 2019 at 07:39PM

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