Illinois Democrats are trying to do what their Republican counterparts in Iowa did after seizing control of the executive and legislative branches of government: Make drastic changes to the state income tax structure.
Iowa Republicans pulled it off with relative ease. It’s a tougher road in Illinois.
We haven’t dug into it too deeply on this program.
Governor JB Pritzker unveiled his progressive income tax plan almost a month ago.
Here’s how that would break down based on income and change the current flat tax rate of 4.95 percent for everyone.
The lowest tax bracket would be for individuals or couples making up to $10,000 a year. Their rate would be 4.75 percent.
Anything more than that up to a $100,000 is taxed at 4.9 precent.
Income earned beyond $100,000 up to a $250,000 pays the current 4.95 percent.
Make a dollar more up to $500,000 and pay 7.75 in state taxes.
The next bracket goes to $1 million and gets taxed at 7.85 percent.
The top bracket gets charged on income above $1 million at 7.95 percent.
Pritzker maintains fewer than 3 percent of state taxpayers would pay a higher rate.
His plan would increase property tax credits by 20 percent for individual homeowners making less than $250,000 a year or couples that make less than $500,000 dollars.
He proposes tax credits of up to $100 a child.
The biggest hurdle in all of this is that a constitutional amendment is required with voters having a final say.
That’s arguably the most significant legislation in Springfield this session during a very busy year for lawmakers.
We touched on that and more with Republican state representative Tony McCombie and Democratic state representative Mike Halpin.
Conservative groups are trying to fight the tax proposal.
An ad released by the group “Ideas Illinois” makes the argument that it would be a jobs tax on the middle class.
The independent Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center calls that claim incorrect.
PolitiFact called the claim false.
McCombie and Halpin discussed where this debate is going.
An issue important to the Quad Cities is the rail service to Chicago.
Democrats and Republicans want it.
It’s essentially at a standstill and needs a financial commitment from the state.
We asked Halpin and McCombie how much either of them are willing to fight for it in Springfield.
Watch the full conversation in the video above.
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