Flat tax vs. graduated tax: What`s best for Illinois? - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Flat tax vs. graduated tax: What`s best for Illinois?

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Republicans are vowing to block a proposal by Democrats in the State Senate to make dramatic changes in the Illinois income tax. At the end of next year, it's scheduled to drop from a flat 5% to 3.25%. Several Democrats have introduced a proposal to change all that by amending the state Constitution.

The Illinois Constitution now requires that everyone must be taxed at the same flat percentage of their personal income. Some Democrats in the State Senate call that unfair.

"I think it's a matter of tax fairness," says State Sen. Kwame Raoul. "I think we have one of the highest levels of consumption taxes, the sales tax, in this country, which is regressive. It has a greater impact on the middle income and low income people."

Kwame Raoul is among 13 Democratic co-sponsors of a proposed amendment to the state constitution. It would change Illinois's flat income tax to a graduated tax, quote, "where lower rates apply to lower income levels and higher rates apply to higher income levels."

The minority leader of State Senate Republicans said that would worsen Illinois's unemployment rate -- already worst in the Midwest -- by spurring employers to leave.

"Wealth is portable and, you know, people who make a lot of money can easily relocate and they do," says Senator Christine Radogno. "We've seen that happen in states that have very graduated taxes."

Radogno said the current flat income tax is fair.

"I mean, if you're making $100,000, you're paying more than if you're making $20,000 [under the flat tax]," Radogno explains.

This income tax debate is only beginning. Any amendment to the state constitution would have to be approved at the polls by 60% of voters. Illinois's big public employee unions are already planning to pour millions of dollars into the fight for it. Look for other groups to spend just as much against it.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Politics NewsMore>>

  • Mayors' group pushes for pension reform

    Mayors' group pushes for pension reform

    Monday, April 21 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-21 16:04:17 GMT
    money-roll-genericmoney-roll-generic
    More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.
    More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.
  • US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously

    US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:10 AM EDT2014-04-20 15:10:55 GMT
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he's taking his opponent in the November election more seriously than any challenger since he first was elected to the Senate.
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he's taking his opponent in the November election more seriously than any challenger since he first was elected to the Senate.
  • Quinn: Tighter controls after Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    Quinn: Tighter controls after Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:57:44 GMT
    The state of Illinois is trying to recoup roughly $12 million its Medicaid program paid in medical services for dead recipients.
    The state of Illinois is trying to recoup roughly $12 million its Medicaid program paid in medical services for dead recipients.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices