Conservative group’s lawsuit alleges graduated tax amendment ballot language is ‘misleading’; supporters call lawsuit a ‘stunt’

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PARK RIDGE, Ill. — With weeks to go until Election Day, a court may weigh in before voters get the chance to decide whether the Illinois constitution should change to allow Governor JB Pritzker’s graduated income tax amendment.

The conservative-leaning Illinois Policy Institute filed a lawsuit in Cook County Monday, arguing the actual language on the ballot is misleading, moving the issue from the court of public opinion to the court of law.  

“This is the most important ballot question in Illinois in 50 years,” said Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute. “It’s not giving voters the truth about what this amendment does.”

While everyone in Illinois currently gets taxed at the same rate regardless of income level, a question on the first line of the ballot would give the state the ability to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels.

It’s one of the most important votes on the ballot in Illinois on November 3, and while it doesn’t involve candidates it would have an impact everywhere from LaSalle Street to Main Street.  

“What’s on the ballot leads them to believe this is only about higher income taxes on higher income people, but if you read the text of the actual amendment it allows just for different income tax rates on different income people,” Berg said.

Supporters of the graduated income tax say the language has been known to the public for months and early voting has already started.  

“We believe it’s time to update Illinois’ tax system that matches most states and the federal government that allows for graduated taxation so that individuals with higher incomes will be taxed at higher rates and individuals with lower incomes will be taxed at lower rates,” Vote Yes for Fairness Chairman Quentin Fulks said.

Fulks called the lawsuit a stunt Monday, arguing the ballot language was passed in the legislature with input from Democrats and Republicans.  

“It’s a frivolous last-ditch effort to yank the amendment off the ballot,” Fulks said.

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