Senator Tracy opposes renewed push for graduated income tax

Argues for Constitutional protections of middle-income families

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says Senate Republicans are working to block Democrat-led efforts to fundamentally change the state’s income tax structure – a Constitutional question resoundingly rejected by Illinois voters in the November 2020 general election.

Tracy attended a Jan. 25 Capitol press conference during which Senate Republicans disavowed attempts by Senate Democrat legislative leaders to once again push a controversial proposal to shift Illinois from a flat income tax to a graduated income tax. Approximately 55 percent of voters participating in the Nov. 3, 2020, general election rejected a Constitutional Amendment to allow a graduated income tax.

“Once again, Democrat legislative leaders are assuming they know what’s best for Illinoisans and are ignoring the will of the people who a little more than two years ago resoundingly voted ‘NO’ to the question of changing Illinois’ income tax structure,” Tracy said. “Why do legislative leaders put an issue on the ballot if they are not going to abide by the vote?”

Tracy also noted Democrat leaders’ unwillingness in 2019 to include additional taxpayer safeguards, especially when considering future tax increases under a graduated tax system.

“My concerns then, and my concerns now, are that forcing a fundamental change to our income tax structure, without any guaranteed protections for middle-income families, will only lead to further income tax increases,” Tracy said. “Illinois families cannot afford to give Democrat leaders a blank check.”

In May 2019, Democrat lawmakers adopted a resolution putting the question of changing the income tax structure in Illinois to the voters in the 2020 general election. Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (SJRCA) 1 placed a referendum on the 2020 general election ballot asking voters if they support moving Illinois from a flat tax to a graduated tax structure.

Also in 2019, in hopes of providing some protections for Illinois families, Senate Republican lawmakers offered SJRCA 12 to require a two-thirds super-majority vote in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly to increase any tax or fee. Currently, legislators only need a simple majority to pass a tax increase or to implement a new tax. SJRCA 12 was never allowed a vote in the Senate.

Jil Tracy

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