Tax Legislation In Progress in Springfield

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers have begun airing out the idea of a graduated income tax, by which people who make the most pay at a higher rate. It passed a Senate committee on a partisan vote.

The governor has pitched this as a tax hike for only the top three percent. Deputy governor Dan Hynes told senators, “Today is an important step to give voters the choice about our tax system. This amendment will remove the unfair constitutional requirement that all taxpayers pay the same (rate), regardless of their income.”

From the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Mark Denzler says: no way.

“Polls show that voters don’t trust Illinois politicians,” he said. “There should be transparency, and we should see the rates in bill form, before a constitutional amendment is enacted.”

Another opponent says the real problem in Illinois is public pensions – which, like the graduated tax, take a constitutional amendment to change.

Sponsoring Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) says the graduated tax will be no easier to increase than the current flat tax.

SJRCA 1 has passed the Senate Executive Committee.