Group Calls For Changes In Income Tax

Nov 5, 2013

Illinois lawmakers will be asked to make some big decisions on taxes in the coming year. That includes whether to change the current flat income tax to one that requires wealthier people to pay more. 

When Illinois raised its income taxes from three percent to five percent a few years ago, it was supposed to be temporary. Some politicians and analysts are saying the tax hike cannot be allowed to expire as scheduled.

Credit flickr / kenteegardin

Others are going even further. They want a graduated income tax, so the more income you earn, the higher your tax rate.

A coalition of activists and labor unions say they've collected more than 150,000 signatures supporting the graduated tax. Campaign director Kristen Crowell says Illinois needs to collect more money, because there's not a lot left to cut from the budget.

"Higher education, public education, transportation, public safety. I mean, thats just not a viable solution anymore to continue to cut cut cut." Crowell said.

Crowell's group isn't backing a specific set of tax rates, but she says a majority of earners would probably end up with a lower rate.

More than 60 Democratic legislators have signed on to the proposal.

Top Republicans are opposed. They say tax increases cannot solve the state's financial problems.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report.