Chicago Sun-Times: Graduated income tax question heads to ballot as House OKs constitutional amendment

Landing Gov. J.B. Pritzker a huge win, the Illinois House — along strictly partisan lines — on Memorial Day approved a November 2020 ballot question that will ask voters if they wish to change the state’s income tax structure from a flat tax to the graduated tax Pritzker is championing.

The flat tax rate has been part of the state’s constitution since 1970, a year after the income tax was first enacted. But in a historic move, the House voted 73-44 to let voters decide next year whether to amend the constitution to allow for the graduated rate — under which high earners would pay more.

The proposed constitutional amendment, which passed the Senate on May 1, does not require the governor’s approval. It does, however, need the support of either 60 percent of those voting on the question — or a simple majority of those voting in the election overall.

And voter approval is only one piece of the puzzle. The actual income tax rates also must be set — and a corresponding measure to do that is still making it through the House.

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