Get Ready for Soft Sell on Progressive Income Tax

SOFT SELL Can Democrats push a progressive income tax constitutional amendment through the General Assembly this spring? They may try, but  look for a gentle nudge instead of a push. Republican Sen. Pam Althoff of McHenry and Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, talked taxes at a Reboot Illinois town hall meeting Tuesday in Woodstock. See their predictions for the Illinois income tax this year.

LOOK OUT Illinois has the fourth highest unemployment in the country and a terrible business climate. It'll only get worse if the state extends its 2011 tax increase or, worse, enacts a progressive tax system. So says The Tax Foundation in this extensive report. It's packed with charts and figures. We've got it and some political context here.

PROGRESSIVE POSSIBILITY Ever wondered how you'd fare under a progressive income tax? We've summed up one proposal in today's chart. No 3.75 percent tax bracket on this one.

RAUNER'S LEAD We knew Bruce Rauner would be a financial force in the Republican gubernatorial primary, but... Well, here's a chart of what the candidates raised in the final quarter of 2013. And here's a summary of news coverage of the latest campaign finance reports.

DAILY PENSION COST The state's broken pension system is still sucking up millions of your tax dollars each day. How much? Find out in this chart.

SOUND OFF A police chief retires, starts collecting a $100,000-a-year pension, then gets hired back as "director of security" -- same salary, new title. Lax and vague disclosure rules let politicians avoid revealing financial conflicts. Big corporations extort the state for big tax breaks by threatening to leave if they don't get them. If you're tired of any or all of these scenarios, now you can do something about them. Use our Sound Off tool to learn more about the issues and send a message to your lawmakers, Gov. Pat Quinn and the four leaders of the General Assembly. All in a few mouse clicks. It's fast, easy and effective. Choose and click an issue below to get started.


HEADLINES Here are the top news stories in Illinois today:

  • 5. House Republicans have vowed to vote against a graduated income tax. (Daily Herald)
    4. Following a series of negative headlines, Bruce Rauner is bringing in a new media adviser. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
    3. Opinion: Out of 274 potential contested legislative races in Illinois this year, there are only 32. (Chicago Tribune)
    2. Bill Brady’s campaign finances are low but optimism remains high. (Chicago Sun-Times)
    1. Early reports show Bruce Rauner and Dan Rutherford with a strong advantage in fundraising over Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard. (Chicago Sun-Times)

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Earl Weiss January 19, 2014 at 08:05 AM
How long will it takew all the numb nuts politicians to figure out / admit the income taxes do not work? How much tax is paid by the underground ecoomy? Criminal revenue? Undocumented cash worker revenue? But guess what? They all buy stuff. Eliminate the Fed and State income tax and costs that go with it. . Create a Fed Sales Tax. Exempt food and drugs so it's not regressive. Piggyback it onto the State Sales tax. let States collect and remit and let them keep a portion of the remittance. Estimates are that a 20% Fed Sales tax would replace the income, SS medicare etc. tax revenue. If you are a family making $100K a year you would pay less than ($20K) you do now since Groceries are exempt as are service purchases. The underground economy people buy stuff so they now pay this tax. All fiscal woes of the the states and Fed would be solved.
Jordan S. Zoot January 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM
How about making voting in Federal elections proportionate to dollars of Federal Income Tax paid..and carefully consider that I said Income Tax rather than Employment Tax. In other words, anyone that doesn't pay income taxes would not be permitted to vote.
Jim January 20, 2014 at 10:03 AM
The progressive tax will pass AND an icome tax on retirement income. Every retiree will leave as will businesses. We are already the most "moved from" state according to United Van Lines. The best solution would be to declare the state insolvent, accept a federal reciever, apply for a new state charter, write a new constitution and start with a clean slate. But the idiots who run Illinois are too selfish and stupid to take the direct way out. They would rather bleed the state slowly, take what they can and leave the mess to someone else. Jordan, good luck with the proportional voting. The idiots need every non tax paying vote to stay in office and continuing to corrupt, ruin and rob.


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