St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A graduated income tax would strengthen Illinois' creditworthiness, Moody's says

CHICAGO — Illinois' relatively weak credit quality could get a boost if the state adopts a graduated income tax rate system, which provides increased revenue-raising flexibility to address pension and budget pressures, Moody's Investors Service said on Monday.

Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker has championed the move as a way to tackle the state's fiscal woes.

The credit rating agency, which rates Illinois a notch above junk at Baa3, acknowledged that switching from the current flat income tax rate to rates that rise with income is "a politically difficult process."

That process requires the placement of a constitutional amendment on the ballot by a three-fifths majority vote of the state House, as well as the Senate, which approved the measure last week. If passed by the Democrat-controlled House, which has not indicated when it will take up the amendment, voters would then decide the amendment's fate in November 2020.

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