By Allison Heverin, DG Progressive Women

On October 1st, Daniel Biss will be in Downers Grove to speak about the Illinois Fair Tax Plan. The Illinois Fair Tax is a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would change the state income tax system from a flat tax to a graduated income tax.  Right now, in Illinois, everyone pays a 4.95 percent state income tax regardless of their income. 

Under the proposed Fair Tax Plan, 97 percent of Illinoisans would not see an income tax increase, with only those making more than $250,000 a year paying more. The largest increases would go to those making more than $1 million a year.  Specifically, the proposed new rates are 4.75 percent on taxable income from $0 to $10,000; 4.9 percent from $10,001 to $100,000; 4.95 percent from $100,001 to $250,000; 7.75 percent from $250,001 to $500,000; 7.85 percent from $500,001 to $1 million, and 7.95 percent on taxable income over $1 million.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker calls the plan a “fair tax” on the basis that a billionaire like himself should not pay the same tax rate as someone who makes only $30,000.  Under the current flat tax system, the average middle-class family in Illinois pays close to 13 percent of its income in state and local taxes, and people earning less than that pay over 14 percent. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent of Illinoisans pay only 7 percent of their income in state and local taxes.

In May, the Illinois General Assembly approved a constitutional amendment that will ask voters whether they want to change the state’s flat income tax structure and replace it with a graduated tax structure.  The question will be on the November 2020 ballot.  In order to pass, it will need the support of either 60 percent of those voting on the question, or a simple majority of those voting in the election overall.

Former State Senator and Democratic candidate for governor, Daniel Biss, who backs Gov. Pritzker’s plan for a graduated income tax, will speak about it on October 1, 2019 from 7:00 to 8:00 at the Downers Grove Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515.