Illinois families and businesses need certainty when it comes to planning for their future said State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), who recently filed Senate Resolution 1590, which opposes a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax rate.
“A graduated income tax invites a great deal of uncertainty—something taxpayers and employers in Illinois are already too familiar with,” said Sen. Connelly. “It would be extremely irresponsible for lawmakers to propose such a tax, especially without saying what the final rates would be.”
The Illinois Constitution requires a flat income tax, meaning all earners pay an equal percentage of their income to the state. A constitutional amendment would be needed to allow for a graduated income tax. This would allow the state to set different rates for different levels of income.
Currently, there are several constitutional amendments making their way through the General Assembly that, if passed with a supermajority, would send the question to the ballot box for voters do decide.
“The danger with these proposals are that none of them say what the final rates would be in the event that a constitutional amendment permitting a graduated income tax goes before voters,” said Sen. Connelly. “If voters approve of the measure, they are leaving it up to lawmakers to decide the rates, and frankly, Illinois lawmakers don’t have a great track record when it comes to low taxes. This will only expedite the exodus of businesses and individuals from Illinois to other states. It's important we send a message today opposing such a scheme.”
To further express the danger of a graduated tax system, Sen. Connelly points to the graduated rates seen in the state of California:
- $0 to $16,029 – 1 percent
- $16,030 to $38,001 – 2 percent
- $38,002 to $59,977 –4 percent
- $59,978 to $83,257 – 6 percent
- $83,258 to $105,223 – 8 percent
- $105,224 to $537,499 – 9.3 percent
- $537,500 to $644,997 – $10.3 percent
- $644,998 to $999,999 – $11.3 percent
- $1,000,000 to $1,074,995 – 12.3 percent
- $1,074,996 or greater – 13.3 percent
Connelly also noted that Illinois' current flat tax rate provides a more predictable, sustainable, and enticing climate for businesses and individuals.