Pritzker kicks in $51.5 million more for taxes initiative

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CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is contributing an additional $51.5 million to a ballot initiative committee backing his constitutional amendment that would dump the state’s flat-rate income tax structure in favor of one that takes a bigger bite from the wealthy.

The contribution to Vote Yes for Fairness, a committee headed by the governor’s former deputy campaign manager, was reported late Friday in a filing with the State Board of Elections. It comes about six months after Pritzker wrote a check to the committee for $5 million. The only other individual contribution reported to date was $250, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Last year, the Illinois General Assembly approved legislation that in November will ask Illinois voters wither the state constitution should be amended to replace the current 4.95% flat rate on income tax with a graduated tax structure, in which people who earn more pay a greater percentage of their income.

But Republican lawmakers and pro-business groups contend that the legislation would create an opportunity for Democrats to adjust tax rates to cover the bills.

If voters approve the amendment, new tax rates approved last year by the General Assembly would go into effect Jan. 1. It would mean that the rates for individuals earning $250,000 or less would stay the same or go down and the rates of those who earn more than that would increase.

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