Before lawmakers in Springfield took the recess on the spring session, it was becoming clear they would have some tough tax votes following the recess. That’s becoming a reality as state Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) said he will seek a vote next Tuesday on a plan to ask voters to amend the state constitution and change what is currently a flat-rate income tax with a graduated income tax.
The problem Harmon’s plan might run into is not in the Senate, where he is expected to achieve the three-fifths needed to pass the plan. Rather, the problem lies in the House where receiving the same three-fifths vote is not considered a good bet. House Speaker Michael Madigan’s own millionaire progressive tax plan, originally considered a rival to Harmon’s plan, wasn’t even able to gain traction in the House after two Democrats came out in support of the plan.
Democrats who’ve been pushing what they call the Fair Tax amendment have been marketing it as the path to a tax decrease for more than 90 percent of households. But they’re ignoring an inconvenient truth: For most people, income taxes would increase above the rate that Democrats have already written into state law for 2015.
DEADLINE If the General Assembly is going to send a progressive income tax amendment to voters in November, it has until Sunday to get it done. This could be a fast and furious week in Springfield.We make it simple with this handy list of what you need to know.
It’s possible that the General Assembly this week could vote on a constitutional amendment to allow a progressive income tax system. State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, has introduced a bill that has wide support from Democrats, who have long wanted to depart from the state’s flat tax system.
If something is going to happen, it has to be this week. The deadline for the General Assembly to send a constitutional amendment to voters on November 4 is Sunday.
Things can get complicated in Springfield, so here’s a quick primer to keep it simple. Two things to remember here: Republicans uniformly oppose this effort (and Gov. Pat Quinn’s push to make the 2011 temporary tax increase permanent) because they believe it is the Democrats’ way of getting more tax money to spend. They want more efficiency and spending cuts.
Democrats say it’s a more fair means of taxation and that Illinois government can’t function without more revenue.
DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN – Call THEM if you’re Taxed Enough Already!