Income tax amendment to be on ballot for Illinoisans in November.

By Ryan Scott, Staff Reporter

Corrected 9/20

This November, Illinois voters will vote yes or no on an amendment to decide if the flat tax rate in Illinois will be changed. 

The Illinois Constitution currently guarantees that every tax payer in Illinois pays a flat income tax of 4.95% regardless of income. 

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker ran on changing the income tax during his campaign for governor in 2018.

On May 1. 2019, the Illinois State Senate voted 40-19 to put the amendment on the ballot. The Illinois House of Representatives then voted 73-44 to add it. The amendment was jointly proposed by all Illinois Senate Democrats

Ballotpedia’s breakdown of the amendment said both houses needed a 60% vote to put the motion on the ballot and they both cleared that threshold. Both houses of the assembly voted straight down party lines, with every Democrat voting for the proposal and every Republican voting against. 

In order to be passed, the proposal in November will require an approval of 60% from voters that are voting on the subject, or higher than 50% approval from from all voters participating in the election.

Pritzker named the amendment the Fair Tax Amendment. When the proposal was announced in March of 2019,  he said that “it’s wrong that I would pay the same tax rate as someone earning $100,000 or, even worse, pay the same tax rate as someone earning $30,000.” 

The amendment has received pushback from Republican lawmakers. They think that the income tax hike will hurt the economy and cause many wealthy people to leave the state. 

“People looking to buy a house or locate a business in Illinois will look elsewhere, driving down the real estate demand,” Jim Durkin the Minority leader in the House Of Representatives said.

Currently the amendment has raised over $79 million  with over 58 million in support of the amendment for advertising in support of the amendment. Currently over 56 million of the 58 have been donated by Pritzker. 

20 million of the dollars to stop the amendment has been donated by hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin. 

John Jackson at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said that Southern Illinois will be less impacted by this as opposed to Northern and Central Illinois, because there are “relatively few” high income earners in Southern Illinois. 

From a study by Ag update in 2017, Southern Illinois has four of the five poorest counties in Illinois. Jackson County which includes Carbondale is one of those five poorest counties in Illinois. 

“The taxpayers who earn up to $250,000 a year in taxable income will pay either the same or less taxes in the new plan than they do currently under the flat rate,” Jackson said. 

Only the top 3% of taxpayers would currently be affected under the tax increase. 

These are the tax brackets that will be instituted if the graduated income tax amendment passes directly from Illinois Senate Bill 687:

 1 Up to $10,000 4.75% marginal rate Up to $10,000 4.75% marginal rate

 2 $10,001—$100,000 4.90% marginal rate $10,001—$100,000 4.90% marginal rate 

 3 $100,001—$250,000 4.95% marginal rate 100,001—$250,000 4.95% marginal rate 

 4 $250,001—$350,000 7.75% marginal rate $250,001—$500,000 7.75% marginal rate 

 5 $350,001—$750,000 7.85% marginal rate $500,001—$1,000,000 7.85% marginal rate 

 6 Annual income of $750,001 or above 7.99% on net income instead of marginal rates Annual income of $1,000,000 or above 7.99% on net income instead of marginal rates.

Information and exact calculations can be done on this website “Fair Tax Calculator” on Illinois.Gov

Sports reporter Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @RyanscottDE.

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