Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax passes first legislative test

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s effort to shift Illinois from a constitutionally mandated flat-rate income tax to a structure where higher incomes are taxed at higher rates cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

The state Senate’s Executive Committee voted 12-5 along party lines to approve a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would allow for a federal-style graduated-rate income tax. It’s the first of many steps necessary before voters can have their say on the issue, which can’t happen until the November 2020 election at the earliest.

Wednesday’s debate showcased the talking points that are already becoming familiar as the state moves toward what likely will be the most expensive ballot measure fight in Illinois history. Pritzker’s Democratic allies argued that the so-called fair tax is the best way to address the state’s many financial challenges without increasing the burden on middle- and working-class taxpayers. Republican opponents countered that they’re the ones trying to protect the middle class from future tax increases.

“This is something many of us have been working on for the better part of a decade, and it is long overdue,” said state Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat who’s sponsoring the proposed amendment. “It is not a radical departure. It is, in fact, the common tax practice in most every other jurisdiction, and I believe that it will give us some nimbleness in our tax policy to allow us to close our structural deficit and begin to tackle the problems that Illinois faces.”

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News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago

via News – Chicago Tribune

April 10, 2019 at 05:06PM

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