Central Illinois Republican & Democratic leaders split on progressive income tax plan

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS — In November, Illinois voters will have the chance to decide on whether the state should move from its current flat tax system to a progressive income tax system.

The amendment proposed by Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker proposes to implement higher taxes on the state’s wealthiest individuals.

More specifically, lawmakers said those who earn more than $250,000 annually would be taxed higher and those who earn less than that would continue paying the 4.95% rate or less.

The McLean County Republican Party held an “Issues and Actions” meeting, Saturday, at the Bloomington Double Tree Hotel and Convention Center where they said the amendment, aimed at helping out the middle class, doesn’t seem realistic to them.

“I don’t think the public buys into this proposal as a real solution to our state’s problems,” said Jason Barickman, Republican State Senator.

Dan Brady, a Republican state representative, said he doesn’t believe there are enough wealthy individuals in the state to tax and make up for the amendment’s $3.4 billion projected revenue.

“There’s just simply not enough of those in the higher end of the spectrum to make up the difference in pay,” Brady said.

Bill Brady, Republican State Senator, also said he believes this may encourage more people to leave the state which will force the tax hike onto the middle class.

“After they’ve driven out some of the million-dollar incomes have to go back down to the lower incomes,” Brady said.

However, Dave Koehler, Democratic State Senator, expressed a different opinion. Koehler, who supports the tax plan, said he believes it will help increase some of the state’s revenue and he said lower-income individuals will not be taxed higher.

“Most or, in fact, 99% of the people will either see no increase or a lesser tax bill,” Koehler said. “So people are trying to spread fear and say it’s going to affect the middle class and it clearly is not.”

Both sides did agree on encouraging voters to go the polls and not skipping the question as leaving the question blank would help no one.

“The bottom line is the voters of Illinois will decide this issue,” Koehler said.

Lawmakers said the amendment will go through if it receives the approval of 60% of voters who actually vote on the question or greater than 50% approval from all voters casting ballots.

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