House Republicans to oppose graduated income tax

House Republicans to oppose graduated income tax


SPRINGFIELD – Republicans in the Illinois House said Friday they are unanimously opposed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to overhaul the state’s income tax structure, a key element in his plan to close the state’s long-term budget imbalance.

Pritzker has called for a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to adopt a graduated income tax, which would levy higher tax rates on income earned above certain thresholds. Currently, Illinois levies a flat 4.95-percent tax on all taxable income.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) issued a statement Friday saying the GOP caucus would stand united against such a plan.

“Higher taxes won't solve our problems, nor have they ever as history has shown,” Durkin said. “Higher taxes only lead to more spending and more government programs. Until our state learns to live within its means, we should not ask for another penny from Illinois families, workers and businesses.”

Both the federal government and most states that have income taxes use a graduated system. But the Illinois Constitution requires that income taxes be levied at a “non-graduated rate.”

In his budget address to lawmakers Wednesday, Pritzker said a graduated tax would generate the revenue needed in future years to pay down the state’s unfunded pension obligations, pay off an $8 billion backlog of unpaid bills and continue funding critical state services.

A constitutional amendment requires passage by a three-fifths supermajority in both chambers of the General Assembly – 73 in the House and 36 in the Senate – followed by voter approval at a statewide general election. That means the soonest a measure could be placed on a ballot would be the November 2020 elections.

Democrats hold 74 seats in the House and 40 seats in the Senate.



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Jeff Rogers

Jeff RogersJeff Rogers

Jeff has more than 30 years’ experience working for newspapers as a reporter and editor. He was the editor of daily newspapers in northern Illinois and Wisconsin before joining as Capitol News Illinois’ editor, where he oversees the news service’s development, growth and fundraising. He grew up in Lanark in northwest Illinois and has a journalism degree from Bradley University in Peoria.

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Full biography

Jeff Rogers is the editor of Capitol News Illinois. He has been director of the Illinois Press Foundation since October 2018.

Before joining the Foundation, Rogers had been a newspaper editor in Illinois and Wisconsin since 1994. He was editor of daily papers in Freeport and Galesburg in Illinois, and in Monroe, Wisconsin. He also was editor of the Freeport iNK weekly newspaper from 2003 to 2005. For the past 9 years, Rogers was editor of the Daily Gazette of Sterling and the Telegraph of Dixon, daily paper owned and operated by Shaw Media.

Rogers is a 1988 graduate of Bradley University in Peoria. He grew up in Lanark, in northwest Illinois.

“Having been in newsrooms since graduating from college, I have a strong sense of how Capitol News Illinois can help newspapers across the state,” Rogers said. “This is an exciting opportunity to help the industry in Illinois by providing coverage of state government that most of our newspapers are not getting. In the bigger picture, it’s an opportunity to help Illinois residents reconnect with their state government.”


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