Senator Jim Oberweis released the following statement after the Senate Executive Committee voted along party lines April 30 to advance legislation that sets rates for a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would fundamentally change Illinois’ income tax structure and cost taxpayers an additional $3 billion each year.
“Senate Democrat leaders have taken the next step in forcing through Gov. J.B. Pritzker‘s controversial pledge to fundamentally change the state’s income tax from a flat rate to a graduated rate,” Oberweis said. “After weeks of waiting for specifics, we finally got an outline today of their suggested rates, ranging from 4.75 percent to 7.99 percent. Not surprisingly, some of the numbers released today are higher than rates originally suggested in March. I joined with the other Republican members of the Executive Committee in voting ‘no’ on the plan.
“More importantly, the legislation advanced today offers no guaranteed protections for middle-income families,” he added. “What’s to prevent rates being raised again in the future? One of the arguments against this change is that out of the 23 states that have implemented a progressive tax structure, there are 18 instances in which states have lowered the threshold for the highest tax rate. Do you trust the Springfield legislature to not raise middle-income taxpayer rates? I don’t.”
Illinois’ state income tax is currently a flat 4.95 percent rate for all residents. Changing from a flat income tax to a graduated income tax requires amending the Illinois Constitution. If approved by lawmakers, the Constitutional Amendment would need to be put to Illinois voters in the next general election, which would be November 2020.