Democratic Supporters Share Their Thoughts On Pritzker's Graduated Income Tax Legislation

Nancy Harty
June 06, 2019 - 7:42 am

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Now that Governor Pritzker has signed graduated income tax legislation, expect to hear a lot more about it.

A majority of voters must ratify a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November next year for the rates to change.

So democratic allies of the governor are gearing up to share their argument.

William McNary, a Democratic activist, has been pushing for changing the flat tax rate for a decade.

He said without it the state will see a continuation of problems.

"Deficits and downgrades and backlogs and cuts," he said. "But our side is going to make a different case - a case for fair tax reform."

JB Pritzker campaigned for governor on the graduated income tax.

"I ask the wealthiest three percent to pay a little bit more, people like me; while the middle class and working class will pay the same or less," Pritzker said.

He said he's very confident the public will support wealthy people like him paying more.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin warns people to be wary of the rates, warning Democrats will come back every year to "pickpocket" more money from Illinois families and businesses. He released a statement, minutes before Govenor Pritzker signed the new tax rate bill, calling the proposed new tax rates a blank check for uncontrolled spending by the Democrats.

The Governor said opponents of what he and other Democrats are calling a fair income tax would deny services to residents.

"They would substantially cut the very things that make us strong - education, public safety, childcare, and services for veterans and our seniors," Pritzker said.

Under the amendment the state income tax would change from a flat 4.95 percent.

The first $10,000 earned would be taxed at 4.75 percent, but then rates would increase as high as 7.99 percent for joint filers making over a million dollars.