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As money pours in, progressive tax campaigns in Illinois heats up

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker

(The Center Square) – The grassroots coalition “Vote Yes For Fair Tax” is once again making a push to persuade Illinoisans to approve the progressive tax amendment in November, but business groups are lining up to oppose the income tax.

The amendment would scrap the state’s flat-rate income tax for a new structure allowing lawmakers to tax different levels of income at different rates.

Sam Tuttle, the executive director of the coalition “Vote Yes For Fair Tax”, said the amendment is good for Illinois.

“It’s the fair tax, right?” he said. “It’s about both making sure that everyone pays their fair share and working families get a cut, but we also invest in our communities across Illinois and that we get a win-win out of this amendment.”

Shortly after Gov. J.B. Pritzker donated more than $50 million dollars of his own money to a committee supporting a graduated income tax constitutional amendment, a new coalition was formed to defeat the measure.

Mark Grant, the Illinois state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, is part of the coalition.

“He can throw as much money at this thing that he wants to,” Grant said. “If it’s a really bad idea, people aren’t going to buy it.”

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Farm Bureau have also come out against the measure. Kevin Semlow is the director of state legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

“Currently we are reaching out to our membership and encouraging them to vote no,” he said.

It will be up to the voters in November whether the flat tax will remain in place as it has since 1970. Lawmakers have already approved the rates that will become law on January 1. Rates would remain flat or decrease for those making $250,000 or less, while they would increase for those making above that amount.

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