Despite opposition from Tracy and Weaver, graduated income tax resolution passes Illinois Senate

State Senators Jil Tracy and  Chuck Weaver, along with Republicans in the Illinois Senate, stood in opposition of a package of bills tied with a constitutional amendment changing Illinois’ income tax from a flat tax to a graduated or progressive one.

A graduated, also known as progressive, income tax is one that taxes higher earners with a higher percentage than that of lower earners.

Tracy, who represents the 47th District, cautions that the rates that are set won’t be permanent, and when the state needs money rates could increase.

“This rate bill doesn’t mean it is going to always be the rate bill. We’ve seen taxes go up several times in the last few years. I think a graduated rate system allows much more flexibility to have five rates, six rates, every time the state needs more money it could just edge it up.”

She further emphasizes that the higher tax-percentage on the upper class will lead to a flight of the state’s wealthiest residents, which will lead to an increase in taxes for those who stick around.

“I’m very concerned because I can see that it will affect the middle class very much in that the working families will find that if people leave Illinois in the upper-rates, those rates will have to stagger down to affect the lower-income person.”

Senator Weaver of Peoria shares those concerns, saying that, quote, “Without adequate protections for middle-income families, taxpayers and citizens of this state have good reason to be concerned.” He adds that the state needs to pass common-sense reforms to “attract jobs and businesses in Illinois” instead of leaning on taxpayers for revenue.

If the House passes the resolution by a 3/5 vote, it will go before the people of the state on the voting ballot in 2020. Otherwise, it dies in the legislature.

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