WTTW Chicago Tonight: Illinois Inches Closer to a Graduated Income Tax

The passage of a state constitutional amendment that would allow a graduated income tax is Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s number one priority.

Pritzker says allowing the state to tax richer people at a higher rate is the only way to return financial stability to Illinois. And on Wednesday, Senate Democrats in Springfield approved a constitutional amendment that would allow Pritzker’s proposed new tax system to take effect – subject to voter approval in 2020.

One person backing Pritzker’s plan is his former gubernatorial election opponent, Daniel Biss. The former state senator who is now executive director of Rust Belt Rising, which trains Democratic candidates across the Midwest, says the key question is simply whether or not we have a tax system that works for all Illinoisans.

“The question here is, ‘Do we have the right tax system in Illinois?’ because this is an effort to reform our tax system,” Biss said. “The answer to that question is no. And the reason you can tell is that it is harder to be middle class in Illinois than almost any other state, but easier to be a millionaire or a billionaire.”

Because Illinois has a constitutionally mandated flat tax system it is currently impossible for legislators to raise taxes on richer Illinoisans.

Click here to read more