Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, August 19, 2019

Progressive income tax resolution passes in State House

By Ann Maher | May 30, 2018


A progressive income tax resolution passed in the State House on Tuesday 61-52, mostly along party lines.

State Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Red Bud) was the only area Democrat to vote against a measure that claims progressive, or graduated taxation, is a more fair way to generate revenue in a state deeply in debt. Costello came out against the idea last month by signing on as a chief sponsor of an anti-progressive taxation resolution.

Mike Babcock, Republican candidate for the 111th House District, reacted to the vote cast by Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Alton) in favor of HR 1025, saying that "she has shown time and again that when Mike Madigan asks for her help in sticking it to taxpayers, she follows along."

Babcock will face Bristow in the November general election.

"Enough is enough," Babcock said in a statement. "Let’s grow our economy instead of raising taxes and cut spending instead of passing unbalanced budgets every year.”

The state's flat income tax rate for individuals is currently 4.95 percent, having risen just a year ago from 3.75 percent.

The resolution that passed claims that progressive taxation will shift the burden away from middle class taxpayers to "wealthy households and large corporations." It also says that a progressive tax will "stimulate small business growth," allowing for reinvestment with additional purchasing power..

There's no shortage of critics against progressive income taxation, including the Illinois Policy Institute, which says that progressive taxation will have an opposite effect of what proponents suggest.  

"First, states with progressive income taxes have seen slower economic growth and faster growth in inequality," wrote analysts Orphe Divounguy, Bryce Hill and Joe Tabor.

"Second, most economists agree that more progressive tax structures reduce economic growth."

The policy analysts also say that progressive taxation would increase the tax burden for the vast majority of Illinoisans, resulting in lost jobs.

"This potential economic harm is the most important reason Illinoisans should not allow a progressive income tax," they wrote. "It would likely lead to tax hikes on the middle class, fewer job prospects and lower incomes."

Here's how area legislators voted:

No:

Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Red Bud)

Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville)

Yes

Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Alton)

Rep. LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis_

Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville)

Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Collinsville)

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Organizations in this Story

Illinois Policy Institute