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Graduated Tax Idea Fails in the General Assembly

Graduated Tax Idea Fails in the General Assembly

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

Graduated tax, progressive tax, fair tax, tax cut, tax hike. Call it what you want, but call it toast for at least two years.

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned Tuesday evening without taking action on a proposal to switch the state from a flat tax – currently five percent and scheduled to recede to 3.75 percent after Dec. 31 – to a graduated tax system, which the federal IRS uses. Those who earn more pay a higher rate.

The sponsor of Illinois’ amendment, State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), said 94 percent of Illinoisans would pay at a lower rate under his plan than they do this year. That is, the five percent rate.

The move requires an amendment to the state constitution, which means voters would have to approve it after a three-fifths majority of each chamber approves. Harmon would not call the bill in the Senate unless he was assured of at least 71 Yes votes in the House.

“I think legislators are skeptical anytime they are asked to vote on tax policy,” Harmon said Tuesday evening. “It’s something that matters to folks.”

Harmon said the commitments in the House were short of 71 but certainly more than sixty, a simple majority. He says he’ll try to get the measure onto the 2016 ballot.

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