Graduated Income Tax and Fair Tax: What Does it Mean?


Photo Credit: Olga DeLawrence

Sajina Jacobs – News Writer

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has proposed changes to Illinois’ tax code, promoting a constitutional amendment to allow a graduated-rate income tax and proposing a new rate and bracket structure, according to Taxfoundation.org.

Graduated income tax is a flat tax rate regardless of how much money you make. Illinois currently operates under a flat-tax rate system. This means there is one tax rate for all, regardless of how much money one makes. Illinois’ current individual income tax rate is a flat 4.95%. Graduated income tax is “a tax structure that levies increasingly higher tax rates on higher-earning individuals or businesses” as defined by NBC Chicago*. With this kind of system, the more one makes, the more one pays in taxes.

              “Illinois is in a fiscal hole and we need revenue to get out of it, and we believe that revenue should come from those who have it and afford it, and take the burden off lower and middle income Illinoisans,” stated Quentin Fulks, executive director of the political committee Vote Yes For Fairness.

              The Fair Tax Act legislation proposes the stop of collecting different types of income tax, including: Personal income, Social Security, and Medicare tax according to an article by Money Crashers. The government would then have to generate tax revenue by instituting a national sales tax on purchased items. This IRS would then become obsolete, and net income would no longer have to do with the number of exemptions claimed according to Money Crashers.

In the end, one’s paycheck would reflect exactly how much money one made, tax-free. This tax would work by adding 23% of the total payment on about all purchases. In other words, the sales tax would already be included with the price of the item, according to Money Crashers**.

               On your county ballot you will see an option to check yes or no followed by the upcoming message:

Proposed Amendment to the 1970 Illinois Constitution
Explanation of Amendment

The proposed amendment grants the State authority to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels, which is how the federal government and a majority of other states do it. The amendment would remove the portion of the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution that is sometimes referred to as the “flat tax,” that requires all taxes on income to be at the same rate. The amendment does not itself change tax rates. It gives the State the ability to impose higher tax rates on those with higher income levels and lower tax rates on those with middle or lower income levels. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become a part of the Illinois Constitution.

(NBC Chicago)

Voting “yes” would mean that you are in favor of the graduated-tax amendment.

If you have not yet registered, there is still time to do so. Election day is November 3rd.

* https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-politics/illinois-lt-gov-stratton-warns-of-20-income-tax-hike-if-graduated-tax-proposal-doesnt-pass/2344707/

** https://www.moneycrashers.com/fair-tax-act-explained-pros-cons/