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Progressive tax part of the race for Illinois House in Metro East

Illinois Watchdog.Org

Monday, October 15, 2018  |  Article  |  By Benjamin Yount

Taxes, Graduated/Progressive , Taxes, income (86) Stuart, Katie--State House, 112
The 112th House District is a jagged rectangle that runs through the Metro East.

It includes Collinsville, Edwardsville and parts of Granite City. It's less than 20 minutes, with traffic, from St. Louis.

So how, and how much, the state of Illinois will tax people is a big part of the race in the district.

Former Republican state Rep. Dwight Kay is running against incumbent Democrat Katie Stuart.

Kay said he's talked to a lot of voters about the possibility of a progressive tax.

"I know we're in the Metro East, but you're still talking southern Illinois, there are some very poor communities in this area," Kay said. "If you start taxing at $17,600, I don't care if you say it's a bracket of five percent or 10 percent, they can't afford it."

Democratic leaders in Illinois have been talking about a progressive tax, which taxes people who make more at a higher rate.

But none of the state's top Democrats have said who will be taxed at the higher rate.

Kay said people in the 112th, and across the rest of the state, for that matter are having trouble affording Illinois' 2017 income tax increase.

He said another tax in 2019 or 2020 wouldn't be any more affordable.

"How do you sell that to somebody?" Kay asked. "You say you've got the second highest taxes in the country, but you need more from individuals. Whether that's property or income or sales or gas, or whatever the case may be. You can't sell that. That's why almost 100,000 people have left this state in the past 18 months."

Rep. Stuart did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story. She told the Belleville News-Democrat back in May that she agreed to co-sponsor a resolution calling for a progressive tax because Illinois needs a progressive tax structure.

She told the paper that, depending on how the tax brackets are written, most Illinois taxpayers could see savings.

“I have to see the actual rates and brackets that are set up, but with some proposals I’ve seen put forward, really for anywhere between 90 and 98 percent of people across the state of Illinois, there’s going to be a savings on their taxes," Stuart told the News-Democrat earlier this year.