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Illinois voters deciding on graduated income tax proposal

Illinois would switch from a flat tax to a graduated income tax that takes a larger percentage from wealthy residents under a proposal on Tuesday’s ballot.

Posted: Nov 3, 2020 3:45 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois would switch from a flat tax to a graduated income tax that takes a larger percentage from wealthy residents under a proposal on Tuesday’s ballot.

The switch would give Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and lawmakers a roadmap to paying down the state’s billions of dollars in debt.

The question on the ballot would amend the Illinois Constitution, which requires that income be taxed at a flat rate. It’s currently at 4.95% for individual payers. Pritzker campaigned on switching to a graduated rate, contending he could raise $3 billion extra a year while not imposing higher taxes on 97% of taxpayers. The federal government and 32 other states use a graduated structure.

Approving an amendment to the Illinois Constitution requires three-fifths majority approval, or 60%, of all who vote on the question.

Democrats who control the General Assembly have approved a rate structure. Those earning less than $250,000 would pay the current 4.95% rate or less. Those making more than $250,000 would pay higher percentages as income increases, topping out at 7.99% for individuals with incomes over $750,000. The corporate tax rate would increase from 7% to 7.99%.

Pritzker calls it the “fair tax” because it would raise taxes only on the 3% of residents who are the wealthiest.

But critics, who have nearly matched the $50 million in spending on ads that billionaire Pritzker put up in favor of the plan, say it is simply a blank check for free-spending Democrats and won’t be used to pay down debt.

The state has had a pile of overdue bills to vendors and service providers for years, which currently stands at more than $8 billion. Its five pension programs are underfunded by more than $130 billion and the current state budget spends $5 billion more than it takes in because lawmakers were counting on a second COVID-19 relief grant, which Congress has yet to approve.

Critics say the rich will simply leave, forcing the government to raise taxes on lower-income payers and that the graduated tax structure hurts small businesses which pay individual income taxes.

Pritzker has warned that if the amendment fails, the state faces a general flat-tax increase, 15% across the board cuts in state spending, or other draconian measures.

___

Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1104763

Reported Deaths: 20744
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4460359268
DuPage710701173
Will59914891
Lake54851924
Kane47289710
Winnebago26813416
Madison25429480
St. Clair23107451
McHenry22290260
Champaign15937106
Peoria15535252
Sangamon14956245
McLean13590173
Tazewell12346253
Rock Island12229308
Kankakee11733187
Kendall1003981
LaSalle9807250
Macon9005182
Vermilion7806117
DeKalb769995
Adams7564129
Williamson6373119
Boone566580
Whiteside5441175
Clinton518886
Coles480486
Ogle471973
Knox4712147
Grundy454154
Effingham436571
Jackson431670
Henry412078
Marion4093113
Macoupin402997
Franklin394671
Livingston381170
Randolph380274
Monroe369571
Stephenson364677
Jefferson3570105
Woodford335470
Morgan332393
Logan317959
Montgomery316654
Lee314576
Christian306279
Bureau305985
Fayette296853
Perry279662
Iroquois263058
Fulton262650
Jersey230961
Lawrence220730
McDonough220051
Saline209254
Douglas205734
Union204032
Shelby202435
Crawford183635
Cass179531
Bond178524
Pike160648
Warren160444
Richland157546
Hancock155635
Wayne154843
Clark153234
Jo Daviess152725
Washington149826
Edgar149452
Carroll147633
Moultrie141828
White141333
Ford140851
Clay134040
Greene128443
Johnson125715
Wabash121915
Mason119841
Piatt119718
De Witt119228
Mercer119130
Cumberland111827
Massac107133
Jasper106115
Menard92310
Hamilton73217
Marshall70915
Schuyler65017
Brown62611
Pulaski6253
Stark50120
Edwards4789
Henderson46816
Calhoun4504
Scott4081
Alexander4067
Gallatin3974
Putnam3592
Hardin3128
Pope2583
Unassigned1110
Out of IL340

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376