Illinois Voters to Weigh in on Graduated Income Tax Amendment

Political Report

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker started ringing alarm bells over what he called a financial “nightmare scenario.” Early estimates show Illinois has lost most than $6.5billion in revenue, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with negotiations over federal funding stalled on Capitol Hill, Governor Pritzker says he’s left with few choices but finding ways to cut spending.

Illinois’ fiscal future hangs in the balance, depending not only on Congress, but also on voters this November. The very first thing you’ll see on the ballot is a proposed change to the state’s constitution, shifting Illinois from a flat income tax, to a graduated tax rate.

Read the language of the proposed change here.

Millions of dollars in advertising is being spent to sway voters either for, or against the massive change. And, Governor Pritzker is eyeing the potential new revenue as a way to shore up a growing budget deficit.

Quentin Fulks, Chairman of Vote Yes for Fairness, joined WGN-TV Political Report to make the case for voters to approve the amendment.

Lissa Druss, spokeswoman for the group Stop the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment, makes the case against the proposed graduated income tax.

The proposed amendment only changes the language of the Illinois Constitution. But, the General Assembly has already approved a set of rates that would go into effect January 1st, should the amendment pass.

The state’s current flat tax charges everyone in Illinois at a rate of 4.95%. Under a graduated system, Illinoisans making $250k a year and above would see a tax hike. The rates max out at just under 8% for single filers making more than $750k a year, and joint filers bringing in more than $1million per year.

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