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HomeIllinois NewsGovernor's office launches campaign to repeal Illinois' flat income tax

Governor’s office launches campaign to repeal Illinois’ flat income tax


CHICAGO – Friday afternoon, Governor Pritzker's office launched his campaign to reject Illinois' flat income tax by sharing an array of quotes from like-minded Democrats and public sector unions that also support his effort, claiming 97 percent will get tax relief – despite claims to the contrary.

The Governor's announcement:
Springfield, Ill. — After Gov. Pritzker unveiled his fair tax plan that ensures 97 percent of taxpayers get tax relief and the wealthy pay their fair share, champions of working families showed their strong support of the proposal.
Sen. Don Harmon:
“Governor Pritzker’s fair tax proposal is exactly the approach we need to restore fiscal stability to Illinois and help our middle class. Under this plan 97 percent of Illinoisans, the overwhelming majority, will get some form of tax relief, while we ensure we can continue to fund critical services and balance our state budget for years to come.”
Sen. Toi Hutchinson:

"I support giving 97 percent of taxpayers some relief so we as a state can stop careening from crisis to crisis. Gov. Pritzker made a very reasonable proposal to move the state towards stability while ensuring that everyone making less than $250,000 a year receives some relief. I endorse his approach and I look forward to working with my colleagues to make it a reality."
Sen. Andy Manar:

“For more than a generation Illinois has lurched from one fiscal crisis to the next, in large part due to an outdated tax system that is unfair to the middle class. I applaud Gov. Pritzker for starting this long overdue discussion on how to stabilize our state’s budget. I look forward to working with him to ease the tax burden on 97 percent of working Illinoisans.”
Rep. Robert Martwick:
“After years of debate and discussion, I’m proud to support Gov. Pritzker’s fair tax plan that gives tax relief of 97 percent of Illinois taxpayers. Lowering the tax burden for low and middle earners and making the wealthy pay a few percentage points more is a fair way to raise revenue to sustain critical state government services. Illinois is currently the 5th most regressive tax state in the country, but Gov. Pritzker’s proposal begins to close the gap and proves the most reasonable and responsible solution to our state’s fiscal woes.”
Rep. Art Turner:

“Illinois has gone for far too long with a system that hurts middle class families, and it’s time we ask the wealthy to pay their fair share. Not only is Governor Pritzker proposing that 97 percent of taxpayers get some relief, he’s also making sure that we start creating property tax relief for families that are straining. I’m proud to support this effort.”
Rep. Mike Zalewski:
“It is time for a fair tax in Illinois. I join Gov. Pritzker in recognizing that for far too long, we have fallen behind in Illinois with a regressive tax structure that makes millionaires and working families pay the same tax. It has been a priority of House Democrats to make our system fairer for middle-class and struggling families, while making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. We look forward to continuing our fight alongside Gov. Pritzker for the future of Illinois.”
AIDS Foundation of Chicago:
“Illinois’ flat tax unfairly penalizes middle class families and those striving to get there. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago supports Governor Pritzker's proposal that will provide tax relief to working class Illinoisans.
“This fair tax proposal is in response to the state's $15 billion in unpaid debts that will continue to increase in the coming years. We need a plan to generate revenue that will not result in drastic cuts to our schools, Medicaid, HIV prevention and treatment, child care, and other vital services.”
AFSCME Council 31,
Executive Director Roberta Lynch:
“Under Governor Pritzker’s fair tax plan, millionaires would pay more while working people pay less. Public services and schools would get needed reinvestment and the state could pay its bills.
“Raising needed revenue from those who can afford to pay a little more—while cutting or keeping taxes low for 97 percent of filers—is the fair tax reform that’s long overdue in Illinois.
“Our union will work with lawmakers to pass the legislation needed to put the fair tax plan on the 2020 ballot.”
Illinois AFL-CIO, President Michael T. Carrigan:
“The Fair Tax proposal is responsible, sustainable and practical. The Illinois AFL-CIO commends Gov. Pritzker for taking bold action with this proposal. We have long supported a progressive tax system to alleviate the burden on the middle class and move our state forward.”
Illinois Education Association, President Kathi Griffin:
“The Illinois Education Association supports a Fair Tax for Illinois. Surveys show voters support a Fair Tax for Illinois. It is imperative that we redirect Illinois to a path of economic recovery that will help our students access the tools and resources that will allow them to reach their full potential. This will strengthen our institutions of higher education, allow our public schools to thrive and strengthen communities throughout Illinois. It is perplexing that we are one of only nine states that hangs on to the flat tax while more than 30 other states have graduated tax rates. Our structure is woefully regressive. Gov. Pritzker’s plan will put us on a better path – a path to not only recover from the two-year budget impasse, but also to grow and stabilize our economy.”
Illinois Federation of Teachers, President Dan Montgomery:
“The Illinois Federation of Teachers applauds Governor JB Pritzker’s commitment to working families and putting Illinois on a more fair, prosperous path forward.
“This fair tax proposal, which provides relief for more than 97% of taxpayers, will be a welcome change for our members and the communities we serve.
“It’s no secret that Illinois’ dire financial situation has taken decades to develop and was made exponentially worse in recent years. Solving our problems will take both time and real structural change. The Governor’s proposal asks the wealthy to pay their fair share so we can invest in schools, higher education, and vital services – and that is something the IFT supports.
“As Governor Pritzker has noted, alternatives to this plan would be raising taxes on everyone, including those who can least afford it, or cutting public education and services to the bone in a Rauner Replay.
“That is unacceptable. It’s time for change. Our current tax system is unfair and unsustainable, and this is a strong first step. We look forward to working with the administration and lawmakers to build the future we all deserve.”
Illinois Network of CILs:
“In order to build a strong and inclusive state, our government needs adequate revenue.
“Today Governor Pritzker released a plan that would lower individual income tax rates for 97% of Illinois individual taxpayers. Those who earn less than $250,000 would pay less, and those earning more would pay higher rates. Illinois CILs applaud this proposal.
“If enacted, this reasonable proposal will not only bring relief to tens of thousands of taxpayers with disabilities, it will help secure the empowerment and civil rights of all people. For too long, Illinois has been unable to properly fund so many urgent priorities, including programs that support Independent Living. It’s time to rebuild, and the Governor’s plan represents a giant step forward.”
Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy,
Director of Special Initiatives Lisa Christensen Gee:
“Gov. Pritzker’s Fair Tax proposal reflects a necessary and strong commitment to reforming Illinois’s tax system in a fair way that will help the state raise the revenue it needs to stabilize its finances and improve quality of life for all its residents. The state’s financial crisis spans several years and getting the state back on firm fiscal footing requires bold solutions and—yes—tax increases.
“ITEP has done an in-depth analysis of every state’s tax system, and currently Illinois has one of the most unfair tax systems in the country. When most taxes that people pay are factored (including income, property, sales and excise), the lowest-income Illinois residents pay a 14.4 percent effective tax rate, which is nearly double the 7.4 percent rate paid by the richest 1 percent. Gov. Pritzker’s plan rightly asks the wealthy to pay more. A graduated income tax is one of the most progressive ways to raise revenue, so it makes sense that this is part of Gov. Pritzker’s solution for addressing the state’s fiscal crisis.
“The nation is in the throes of a serious conversation about how our public policies have enabled economic growth that has enriched the highest-income households while low- and middle-income families stand still. It is fair to ask those who have benefited the most from economic growth to contribute more.”
Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager John F. Penn:

“We are pleased that Gov. Pritzker is again following through on his commitment to stand with working families, including the hardworking men and women of the Laborers’ Union, who help build our state’s roads and schools and who serve the public at all levels of government. Asking the wealthy to pay their fair share will offset a tax cut for 97 percent of taxpayers – anyone who makes less than $250,000 per year – and will put Illinois back on the path to fiscal stability. Illinoisans deserve a fair tax structure like the one proposed by the Governor today.”
Responsible Budget Coalition:
“The Responsible Budget Coalition applauds Governor JB Pritzker’s push for a Fair Tax. A Fair Tax would give relief to working families while raising much-needed revenue to fund essential state services.
“Under Illinois’ current flat tax, wealthier residents do not pay their fair share of state and local taxes. Furthermore, the regressive tax structure perpetuates the state’s dire financial circumstances, an untenable situation made worse by the years-long budget impasse. Illinois’ revenue deficiencies have forced unconscionable cuts to vital services and a chronic failure to pay our bills on time. More revenue is needed in order to put Illinois on a path to fiscal health.
“A Fair Tax would bolster our economy and raise billions in revenue to fund our schools and social services. A more just tax system is long overdue. Join us in supporting this necessary measure. Call your Illinois senators and represen
tatives and tell them to support a Fair Tax.”
SEIU Healthcare Illinois, President Greg Kelley:
“For too long, low wage and middle class working families have carried the burden of funding the essential services of our state through our tax dollars while the wealthy escaped their responsibility to pay their fair share.
“Governor JB Pritzker’s fair tax proposal gives relief to families suffering under the regressive tax policies that currently exist, allowing working families to have more money to purchase the necessities that will improve their lives while also stimulating the economy.
“It is important to note that 97 percent of tax payers will receive relief from the governor’s proposal, while only those making over $250,000 annually will experience a tax increase.
“Healthcare and child care workers – who provide necessary and vital services in our communities – welcome the governor’s effort to bring fairness to working families while also addressing the state’s need for additional revenues.”
SEIU Illinois State Council, President Tom Balanoff:
“Illinois’ current tax code puts undue burden on the working people of our state, making it harder for them to put food on the table for their families and get ahead. Governor JB Pritzker campaigned on a promise to overhaul this unfair system, and today he is making good on that pledge.
“Governor Pritzker’s plan lowers tax rates for 97 percent of Illinois taxpayers while making sure the wealthy pay their fair share. This proposal will put our state on the path towards fiscal sustainability and good governance.
“The janitors, healthcare and home care workers, security officers and more of SEIU support Governor Pritzker’s fair tax plan, which will make Illinois a better, more equitable state for working families.”


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  1. J.(elly)B.(elly) Prtizker is simply lying. His plan is to sucker you into voting for a progressive income tax that does not solidify the rates in the constitution, knowing full well that once the constitutional provision is stripped out the general assembly can raise the rates at will.
    We already have a progressive income tax system in Illinois, because our tax code allows for blatantly unconstitutional income tax credits. In fact the general assembly can already waltz around the flat tax and get the same rates by simply jacking the flat rate to 7.95% and then giving income credit rebates to lower it again. Think about why they will not do that. They can already do exactly what they claim they wish to do.
    All this is about is a song and dance to give them one last chance to boost public sector salaries and lock in higher pension benefits. Fat boy is betting that Trump will be taken out of office and a more bailout friendly federal Democratic administration will be in place. A Democrat administration will need Illinois votes to keep in power, so a bail-out may be assured. That is Pritzker’s and the public sector’s gambit.
    The keypoints to note is his Lardness will not put the tax rates in the Constitution nor is he even willing to change the Illinois Constitution to alter future pensions.
    And the a recession is coming, Illinois will be insolvent…

  2. Would someone please define “Fair”? It seems that Illinois will go the way of the dinosaur and beat NY, NJ & CA to the bottom. With a flat tax rate, if someone is making more money than I am then they would pay more taxes than I do. Explain how that isn’t appropriate? Does anyone believe that this won’t result in more people moving out of this state? This will just expedite their decision making.
    Here’s an idea – cut spending and taxes to attract, not scare businesses from our state. Politicians are to blame for the pathetic fiscal condition of this state – NOT THOSE MAKING $250K or more.

  3. Pritzker must be patting himself on the back on his crafty scheme to sell his “progressive tax” plan. The plan is structured to have two tax brackets below the $250,000 line that are at or below the current 4.95% rate. But, cross that $250,000 line and the rate immediately skyrockets to 7.75%. Over 97% of tax filers are below that $250,000 line.
    This initial proposal is nothing less than a “scheme to mislead”. Put this alongside Pritzker’s “scheme to defraud” that the Cook County Inspector General declared over Pritzker’s “toiletgate” fiasco. How long do you think it will take the less than 3% above the $250,000 line to flee Illinois once the “progressive tax mousetrap” comes down hard on them? And then we will see the tax brackets and rates change, to ensnare the rest of us. This is so painfully obvious it’s almost silly.

  4. New York is bleeding members of its upper middle class and a day doesn’t go by when you don’t read baby Cuomo whining about it. And the Fat Slob looks at it and says to himself “give me two portions of that!”

  5. Like what happened with casino gambling, this is just another example of “the camel’s nose under the tent.”
    When the flat-rate income tax was passed, we were “GUARANTEED” that would be the end of it.
    Now comes Stage Two, the PROGRESSIVE-rate income tax.