Lawmaker Calls For Graduated Income Tax

Mar 26, 2014

Advocates have been moving for months to give Illinois a progressive income tax. Instead of the same flat rate for everyone, those who make more would pay more.

Senator Don Harmon
Senator Don Harmon

Backers of the plan argue most Illinoisans would get a tax cut.

Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, says this provides the state a new choice, instead of extending the 2011 income tax hike or making deep cuts to services.

"We can continue an unfair, regressive tax at 5 percent, or we can cut government services, the services upon which folks rely by 20 percent across-the-board," Harmon said.

Under the plan, it's estimated the state would take in $23 million less than this year's revenue, something advocate Emily Miller says isn't necessarily a bad thing. Miller is with Voices for Illinois Children, which is among the groups pushing for a progressive tax.

"These are not good times. Families need tax cuts and government needs to be able to operate efficiently," Miller said.

Implementing a progressive tax would require amending the Illinois Constitution. If approved by the House and Senate, voters would have the final say in November.