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The Pritzker income tax amendment SJ-R Posted Apr 14, 2019 at 8:00 PM

State Journal Register

Monday, April 15, 2019  |  Letter to Editor  |  Bruce A. Beeman

Pritzker, J.B. , Taxes, income (86)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has long advocated for replacing Illinois’ flat rate income tax with a graduated income tax. I’m not against the concept of doing so, but cannot support the proposed amendment in its present form.

 

Pritzker has publicly talked about dropping the tax rate to 4.75 percent for the first $10,000 of income; 4.9 percent for income between $10,000 and $100,000; 4.95 percent for income between $100,000 and $250,000; 7.75 percent for income up to $500,000; 7.85 percent for income between $500,000 and $1 million; and 7.95 percent of the entire income of someone earning more than $1 million annually.

 

This may sound reasonable to some. However, the problem is the amendment contains no percentage limitations to the proposed graduated tax. If passed, the amendment would give the legislature the authority to set a rate of 7.05 percent on income as low as $38,772, as Minnesota does.

 

In truth Pritzker’s graduated tax amendment proposal in its present form should probably be called the “Just Better Pray” income tax proposal. Had the proposed language of the amendment included the advertised, but not guaranteed, proposed maximum tax rates in 2019 dollars, with the income levels adjusted each year for inflation, perhaps I could have been a believer. As it is, this proposal is nothing more than a promise from politicians that is not in writing. We all should know exactly what that is worth.

 

Bruce A. Beeman

Springfield