Supporters, Opposers Square Off Over Graduated Income Tax Plan

Craig Dellimore
July 08, 2020 - 11:02 am
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Governor Pritzker’s supporters and those who oppose his plan for a graduated income tax are already squaring off for a decisive vote on the measure this November.

A coalition of business groups, including the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Farm Bureau, is launching a public offensive against passage of a constitutional amendment to allow what Governor Pritzker calls the Fair Tax.

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The business leaders say the graduated income tax is a plan to raise everyone’s taxes to fuel lawmaker spending sprees. They note Governor Pritzker himself has committed more than $50 million to the organization trying to win passage.

Quentin Fulkes—a former  Pritzker campaign official—is head of the group Vote Yes for Fairness. He issued a statement saying the business leaders are masquerading as a grassroots organization, but really "represent millionaires and billionaires who have benefited from Illinois’ unfair tax system for far too long.”

Cindy Neal with the National Federation of Independent Businesses is among the leaders of a business coalition waging a campaign against the so-called progressive income tax.

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Voters will be deciding a referendum on a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax to replace the state’s current flat rate. She said it’s about raising taxes to fund Springfield’s out of control spending addiction. And her alliance is spending money to get that word out.

But, Quentin Fulkes is stressing that what they call the fair tax would have higher income people paying more and lower income people less.

One of their ad’s said “not fair to force our essential workers to pay the same tax rate as millionaires and billionaires.”

This will be an expensive battle.