Taxpayer victory: Progressive tax effectively dead this legislative session

By Chris Lentino, Illinois Policy Institute | Apr 11, 2018

Fifty lawmakers are taking a pledge to fight a progressive income tax in Illinois, denying progressive tax proponents the support needed to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

Illinoisans can’t afford another middle-class tax hike. But that’s exactly what proponents of a progressive income tax were seeking this legislative session.

Fortunately, a resolution filed by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Burr Ridge, has yielded enough support to effectively thwart those efforts.

Forty-nine other House members have signed on to Durkin’s resolution opposing a progressive tax in Illinois, meaning proponents of the constitutional amendment to enact a progressive income tax cannot achieve the supermajority of 71 votes necessary for a referendum to appear on November’s ballot.

This is a major victory for Illinois taxpayers, who are in need of relief after witnessing the largest permanent income tax in Illinois history last summer.

House Resolution 975 states that the cosigners “… stand united in opposition to any measure that would allow the creation of a graduated income tax on Illinois residents.” Every member of the House Republican caucus, with the exception of Rep. David Harris, R-Mount Prospect, has signed on.

While sold as a tax on the rich, one progressive tax proposal currently in a House subcommittee would hike income taxes on Illinoisans earning as little as $17,300.

Given proposals like this, it’s no wonder nearly 12,000 Illinois taxpayers have signed on to a petition opposing a progressive income tax via illinoispolicy.org. A poll conducted by Illinois Policy found 42 percent of active likely voters in Illinois oppose a progressive tax, with 29 percent unsure or having no opinion, and 29 percent supporting.

While this victory is welcome news for Illinoisans, this fight is not over. Lawmakers will continue to push for a progressive tax hike in Illinois. Illinoisans can sign a petition urging their state representative to oppose a progressive income tax at illinoispolicy.org.

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Illinois Policy Illinois Representative Jim Durkin (R-82nd)

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