SPRINGFIELD – In order to get onto the November 2016 ballot, a constitutional amendment that would have moved Illinois from a flat income tax state to one with a progressive rate system needed to pass the Illinois House Wednesday. However, Democrat Speaker Madigan allowed adjournment without a vote – killing the hopes of State Reps Lou Lang (D-Chicago) and Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago), who were sponsoring the resolution.
Conservative anti-tax groups are celebrating the effort's fizzle.
“We applaud the stand a bipartisan coalition of legislators took in opposition to the effort to do away with Illinois’ flat income tax," said Americans for Prosperity-Illinois' David From.
"While proponents called it ‘fair’, the reality is that it would have made it much easier for state politicians to continually raise taxes on segments of taxpayers to fund their latest excessive spending. In light of how our state leaders have spent money over the past decade, it would have been foolish to pass a measure akin to giving them a new ATM card," he said.
From went on, saying the other lesson of the graduated income tax in other states is that even if it initially targets higher income brackets, politicians eventually increase the tax burden on the middle class taxpayers to fund their continual over-spending.
"That is the wrong approach to growing our economy and is one of the reasons more than 1,350 AFP- Illinois activists contacted their legislators on this issue alone," he said.
The Illinois Policy Institute also celebrated the lack of activity on the measure.
"Today, the proposed amendment is dead, as Democrats could not rally the votes they needed," wrote Heather Weiner on the IPI website.
"Illinois Policy left no stone unturned in defeating this constitutional amendment. We used all of our advocacy tools: We strategically targeted lawmakers, engaged in one-on-one conversations, leveraged partnerships and media opportunities, and called on voters to contact lawmakers who were wavering on this issue."
But not everyone was so happy. Those who want Illinoisans to pay higher income taxes vented on Twitter:
And the "Responsible Budget Coalition" placed the blame squarely on Governor Rauner's opposition to moving away from a flat tax: