Illinois Governor's Office issued the following announcement on April 9.
Governor JB Pritzker and leading members of the General Assembly announced a major step forward for the fair income tax, as lawmakers introduced language to amend the state's Constitution, which currently requires that all taxpayers pay the same rate, regardless of their income. Governor Pritzker's proposed fair income tax would address the state's multi-billion-dollar budget deficit by raising taxes only on those making more than $250,000, who represent only 3% of taxpayers.
"Working with the General Assembly, my administration is taking an important next step to change our tax system to be more fair to the middle class," said Governor JB Pritzker. "The action we're taking today means we are one step closer to giving voters a choice about whether the wealthy will pay more and 97% of families will pay the same or less. I've said from the beginning that it doesn't make sense that I pay the same rate as a teacher or first responder, and today brings us closer making Illinois' tax system fair."
The amendment would revise the state's Constitution as follows:
Illinois Constitution Article IX, Section 3(a)
|A tax on or measured by income shall be at a non-graduated rate. 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. In any such tax imposed upon corporations the rate shall not exceed the rate imposed on individuals by more than a ratio of 8 to 5.
|The General Assembly shall provide by law for the rate or rates of any tax on or measured by income imposed by the state. In any such tax imposed upon corporations the highest rate shall not exceed the highest rate imposed on individuals by more than a ratio of 8 to 5.|
As the constitutional amendment moves forward, Governor Pritzker's administration is simultaneously continuing negotiations with the General Assembly over the tax rates, which would ensure that only those making more than $250,000 a year - only 3% of residents - would pay more in taxes. Additionally, the governor has proposed increasing the property tax credit by 20% and creating a child tax credit targeted to working families.
The administration expects that rates will be finalized with lawmakers this legislative session so that Illinoisans can understand how the rates would affect their family before voting on the constitutional amendment. More information is available at www.illinois.gov/FairTaxCalculator.
State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park):
"Our state's current tax structure is antiquated and gives us little ability to respond to an economic downturn. It puts a greater burden on working families than on the very wealthy. The majority of the country has realized that a fair tax structure works well - it's time for Illinois to join them."
State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights):
"Taxpayers have three choices. They can say they're OK with slashing funding for schools, universities and senior services, which would raise property taxes. They can say they're OK with a 20 percent tax increase for every Illinoisan. Or we can update our income tax structure so that the wealthiest 3 percent of Illinoisans pay more.
"I think it's crystal clear that a fair, modern tax system is the direction we should go."
Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood):
"Our current tax system leans on working class people, while the wealthiest 3 percent do not pay their fair share. This legislation is a step in the right direction for everyone struggling to make ends meet, and I look forward to seeing this plan come to fruition."
State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill):
"I hear from people in my district all the time who are tired of a system that penalizes them for working hard and rewards wealthy people who don't pay their fair share. Illinois' flat tax feeds that disparity. It's time to take some pressure off of Illinois' working-class families and bring more stability to the state. A fair tax will help us accomplish that."
State Representative Robert Martwick (D-Chicago):
"While opponents spread misinformation and use desperate scare tactics to protect the wealthiest 3% of taxpayers, we're making real progress toward making our tax system more fair for everyone. This fair tax pan ensures people making up to $250,000 will pay the same or less. Come November 2020, voters will have their say at the ballot box and ultimately decide if 97% will benefit from a fair tax system while the wealthy pay their fair share."
House Deputy Majority Leader Art Turner (D-Chicago):
"We're filing the fair tax constitutional amendment today to put our state back on track while protecting the middle class and those striving to get there — the vast majority of taxpayers who drive our economy. Only the richest 3% of taxpayers will pay more under the fair tax, and I look forward to voters having input in this important process to change our tax system for the better."
State Representative Michael J. Zalewski (D-Riverside):
"Our state faces a $3.2 billion deficit, and instead of raising taxes on everyone, this fair tax plan asks only those who can afford it to pay their fair share. Taxpayers making $250,000 or less —97% of filers — will pay the same or less. This constitutional amendment will give our state a chance to get back on stable fiscal footing in the fairest way for taxpayers."
Original source can be found here.