Language in the constitutional amendment proposed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker as part of his graduated income tax could leave Illinoisans on the hook for additional taxes, claim critics of the plan.
Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) reports that by simply deleting one line in the current state constitution, Pritzker’s amendment could easily set the stage for such chicanery. The line holding all the power presently stipulates that, “At any one time, there may be no more than one such tax imposed by the State for State purposes on individuals and one such tax so imposed on corporations.”
As it is, the Illinois Constitution currently prohibits lawmakers in Springfield from instituting more than one form of tax on the same income. But, IPI reports, that could change under the new language.
Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch
"If Pritzker’s amendment becomes part of the Illinois Constitution, the state could adopt an extra income tax surcharge dedicated entirely to pensions,” the group stated in an online article.
The plan recently passed a Senate Executive Committee and is now poised to go before the entire Senate for a vote. With at least 25 percent of the current state budget already absorbed by pension liabilities, Illinois Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Todd Maisch theorized on how an additional tax increase might look.
“If somebody decides there’s a need for another income tax increase, I think it’s going to look a lot like a special assessment for public safety,” he told IPI. “It’s going to be a special tax dedicated to education. It’s going to go under that guise.”
Beyond needing passage in the General Assembly, the plan would need the support of at least 60 percent of voters at the ballot box in 2020 to become law.