Big money funds debate on Illinois graduated income tax vote

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FILE – In this March 30, 2020 file photo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks in Chicago during the daily update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Pritzker said during a stop in Rock Island, Ill., Monday, July 27, 2020, that “things are not moving in the right direction” in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois, where officials reported a sixth day in a row of more than 1,000 newly confirmed cases. Earlier in Quincy, the Democrat said he didn’t expect life in Illinois to return to normal until sometime next year. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois voters are being asked whether they want to change the state’s income-tax structure from a flat-rate system to one that takes more from wealthier residents.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is backing what he calls the “fair tax.” It promises that no one making less than $250,000 would pay more. That’s 97% of taxpayers. But wealthier taxpayers would pay up to a top rate of 7.99%. It would generate $3.4 billion more a year in revenue. Opponents claim it will give lawmakers a “blank check” to increase spending without paying the state’s massive pile of debt.

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