Proposed graduated tax in Illinois inches forward


Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP

In this April 9, 2019 file photo, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is flanked by members of the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate as he answers questions after announcing the SJRCA1 Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment to change the state's flat income tax to a progressive rate structure, during a news conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has begun the process for ending the state’s 50-year-old flat-rate income tax structure. But Senate approval of a constitutional amendment and proposed rates for a graduated income tax does not guarantee a change.

House Democrats are trying to gather support for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s so-called “fair tax” plan that leans more heavily on wealthier taxpayers. Incomes under $10,000 would be taxed at 4.75% and single filers with incomes over $750,000 would pay 7.99%.

But the change also requires a constitutional amendment to replace the required flat-tax setup. That requires 71 votes and there are 74 House Democrats. Republicans are opposed.

Democratic Reps. Robert Martwick of Chicago and Mike Zalewski (zuh-LEH’-skee) are sponsoring the amendment and rate legislation. They say they’re trying to gauge support and satisfy differing desires.