Tell your state representative: Vote no on progressive tax

After passing Illinois Senate earlier this week, the legislation now moves to the House.

By: Kay Shipman

Illinois Farm Bureau is urging members to call their state representatives and ask them to vote no on SJRCA 1 (Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment), which initiates the process for a progressive state income tax. Illinois Farm Bureau opposes the creation of a progressive income tax. 

This week, the state Senate passed constitutional language that will allow a progressive income tax and sent it to the House. SJRCA 1 and a companion tax rate bill are part of a progressive income tax package that differed slightly from the plan proposed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The Senate also passed SB 687 that contains the actual progressive tax brackets and rates. IFB opposes SB 687, sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields.

“Now that the progressive income tax package has moved to the House of Representatives, we are now asking everyone to join me in calling their state representative to ask them to vote NO on SJRCA 1,” said Richard Guebert Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau president. “We need to continue to let our elected officials know that we feel the current flat rate income tax is the preferred way to tax incomes in Illinois.”

SB 687 proposes six income tax rates from 4.75 percent to 7.99 percent for both single- and joint-filing individuals. The existing state income tax system taxes individuals at 4.95 percent.

Under the proposed progressive income tax, a person filing an individual tax return with a net income up to $9,999 would be taxed at 4.75 percent; $10,000 to $99,999, 4.9 percent; $100,000 to $249,999, 4.95 percent; $250,000 to $349,000, 7.75 percent; $350,000 to $749,999, 7.85 percent and $750,000 and over, 7.99 percent. Individuals with income $750,000 or more would pay 7.99 percent on the entire income amount.

Those filing jointly with a net income up to $9,999 would be taxed at 4.75 percent; $10,000 to $99,999, 4.9 percent; $250,000 to $499,999, 7.75 percent; $500,000 to $999,999, 7.85 percent; and $1 million or more, 7.99 percent.

Guebert said, “Please join me in calling your state representatives by dialing 888-200-3794 and entering in your zip codes. Each caller will be forwarded to his or her state representative’s Springfield office. All you have to say is, ‘I ask my representative to vote No on SJRCA 1.’” 

“SJRCA 1 will need 71 affirmative votes out of the 118 representatives to be approved in the House,” said Kevin Semlow, IFB director of state legislation.

“Remember, this is the first step in the process of making a change to the Illinois State Constitution,” Semlow advised. “Now that the Senate has approved it, the House must do the same by supermajority vote to place the proposal on the November 2020 ballot. If the House approves SJRCA 1, the voters will get the final say.”

Guebert added: “With the state of Illinois still struggling financially, Illinois needs to take a hard stand in getting its finances put in place. Coming up with a different way to tax the citizens of Illinois does not fix the overall structural deficit the state faces. We are unique because we are tied to our farms; we simply can’t pick them up and move them. We strongly see the need for returning the state of Illinois to sound financial standing.

“We have to join together so our voices can be heard. Simply dial 888-200-3794 and ask your state representative to vote, ‘NO!’,” Guebert concluded. 

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