Illinois House Republicans are speaking out against Gov. JB Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax.
GOP leaders say the current flat tax is one of the state’s last competitive advantages.
But when the Paul Simon Institute at SIU Carbondale polled the question last year, it found that 51 percent of Republicans—and 49 percent of conservatives—support a graduated tax.
Still, state Rep. Keith Wheeler, a Republican from Oswego, said he’s not worried.
“I don’t believe that that polling actually reflected any real rates, so no one could actually understand how it would affect them. If it were just a millionaires’ tax, that might be one thing. If it’s going to hit everyone down to the $17,000 level … whole new poll," said Wheeler.
Pritzker hasn’t said what the income brackets would be.
In all, 72 percent of all Illinoisans supported the graduated tax in that poll. The change requires amending the Illinois Constitution, which would have to be approved by 60 percent of voters in a general election.
State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Normal, said he’s open to discussions on options for funding budget priorities. But he said tax increases that "will drive more families and businesses from our state isn’t the answer."
“When considering a constitutional amendment voters need to have all the details. At this point, we don’t have any of the proposed tax rates for the governor’s plan," Brady said in a statement. “Once we have those details I’m open to discussing them with the governor as I hope he is open to sitting down with us and discussing our proposals and concerns. But a tax increase on working families would be a non-starter.”
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