Illinois families and businesses need certainty when it comes to planning for their future said several Senate Republican legislators today during a press conference announcing legislation that opposes any attempt to amend our state Constitution to allow for a graduated income tax rate, which would be another tax increase on Illinois families.
“As thousands of families are wrapping up filing their taxes today ahead of the deadline, it’s important to assure them that there are people in Springfield fighting to keep their taxes as low and consistent as possible,” said State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), chief sponsor of Senate Resolution 1590. “The main issue with a graduated income tax is that it invites a great deal of uncertainty—something taxpayers and employers in Illinois are already too familiar with. It would be extremely irresponsible for lawmakers to propose such a tax.”
“I am proud to stand with my Senate Republican colleagues to oppose a graduated income tax system,” said Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington). “We need to create jobs and improve our economic development, what we don’t need is another tax increase on Illinois families. We are here to defend taxpayers.”
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.
“This is a dangerous path to go down, especially when none of the Constitutional amendments we’ve seen say what the final rates would be prior to sending the question to voters,” said State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles). “What could be less predictable, than a percentage based income tax that the General Assembly can adjust every year? That would be the worst signal that you could possibly send to job creators and people looking to move to Illinois.”
Currently, there are several proposed amendments to the Illinois Constitution 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.
“Illinois’ current flat tax rate provides a more predictable, sustainable, and enticing climate for all,” State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris). “A graduated income tax system would only speed up the mass exodus of families and businesses leaving our state. It's important we send a message now opposing such a proposal.”
As an example of the danger of a graduated tax system, Senate Republicans note the income levels and 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