Less than two months after taking office, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker embarked on a new and potentially bruising political campaign Thursday by seeking to win public approval of a graduated-rate income tax that he contended would raise $3.4 billion by increasing taxes for the wealthy while lowering taxes for 97 percent of Illinois residents.
“Instituting a fair tax as I’ve proposed will improve the arc of our state’s finances forever and will make our state more fair for everyone,” Pritzker said in unveiling proposed tax rates and income brackets for his long-discussed plan to replace the state’s constitutionally mandated flat-rate income tax.
Currently, all Illinois residents are taxed at 4.95 percent, regardless of income level. Pritzker’s proposal is largely reliant on raising taxes significantly on residents making more than $250,000 a year, with those earning $1 million and up taxed at 7.95 percent of their total income.
“It’s wrong that I would pay the same tax rate as someone earning $100,000 or, even worse, pay the same tax rate as someone earning $30,000, which is why 33 states and the federal government use lower rates for lower earnings and higher rates for higher earnings,” said Pritzker, a billionaire heir of the Hyatt hotel fortune.