Crain's Chicago Business: Here's what happened after Illinois' income tax jumped 67%

When Illinois’ income tax rate jumped a record 67 percent earlier this decade, critics warned it would drive away the wealthy who invest in businesses and jobs. Instead, IRS data show, the better off flourished.

Similar arguments are now being raised by opponents of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s push for a new and steeper tax hike on the wealthy. But if past is prologue, a trove of federal data on Illinois taxpayers undercuts predictions of a stampede for the exits among residents of means.

At the same time, however, a BGA analysis of the records shows the big tax hike coincided with a steep drop in the number of low- and modest-income taxpayers, with the biggest impact downstate and in some minority neighborhoods in Chicago.