Illinois Fair Tax Amendment still undecided

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Gov. Pritzker calls it the “fair tax” because it would raise taxes only on the 3% of residents who are the wealthiest.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A ballot proposal that would allow Illinois to switch from a flat tax to a graduated income tax that takes a larger percentage from wealthy residents was undecided early Wednesday with votes still uncounted.

The switch would give Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and lawmakers a roadmap to paying down the state’s billions of dollars in debt.

The question on the ballot would amend the Illinois Constitution, which requires that income be taxed at a flat rate. It’s currently at 4.95% for individual payers. Pritzker campaigned on switching to a graduated rate, contending he could raise $3 billion extra a year while not imposing higher taxes on 97% of taxpayers. The federal government and 32 other states use a graduated structure.

Approving an amendment to the Illinois Constitution requires three-fifths majority approval, or 60%, of all who vote on the question.

Democrats who control the General Assembly have approved a rate structure. Those earning less than $250,000 would pay the current 4.95% rate or less. Those making more than $250,000 would pay higher percentages as income increases, topping out at 7.99% for individuals with incomes over $750,000. The corporate tax rate would increase from 7% to 7.99%.

Pritzker calls it the “fair tax” because it would raise taxes only on the 3% of residents who are the wealthiest.

But critics, who have nearly matched the $50 million in spending on ads that billionaire Pritzker put up in favor of the plan, say it is simply a blank check for free-spending Democrats and won’t be used to pay down debt.

The state has had a pile of overdue bills to vendors and service providers for years, which currently stands at more than $8 billion. Its five pension programs are underfunded by more than $130 billion and the current state budget spends $5 billion more than it takes in because lawmakers were counting on a second COVID-19 relief grant, which Congress has yet to approve.

Critics say the rich will simply leave, forcing the government to raise taxes on lower-income payers and that the graduated tax structure hurts small businesses which pay individual income taxes.

Pritzker has warned that if the amendment fails, the state faces a general flat-tax increase, 15% across the board cuts in state spending, or other draconian measures.



The 2020 General Election caps off a challenging year for the United States, as Americans navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for social justice amid the high stakes of a presidential election year. The balance of power is in play on both the federal and state levels.

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Editor is WebTech Group (WTG). WTG is a web hosting, design, SEO, press release distribution company and news agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. Site is owned and operate multiple news sites in the region. Our objective with STLNewsMissouri.com is to offer readers a one-stop news site for Missouri news. We aggregate news from news media across the state. We do not aggregate news from all sources. We pick from those that offer RSS feeds and pick the best with eliminating those that might produce the same news stories, written differently.
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