Illinois voters favor a graduated income tax by a two to one margin.
Translating those numbers to votes would mean there is enough support for a fair tax to change the Illinois constitution. The constitution presently requires a regressive flat income tax.
It is one of the results of the most recent poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.
Sixty-seven percent of Illinois voters said they favored the graduated tax plan, “… that is, tax rates would be lower for lower-income taxpayers and higher for upper income taxpayers.” Just under one-third, (31 percent) opposed the plan. The plan received high levels of support across all three major geographic divisions of Illinois with the highest level of support coming from Chicago (74 percent). Voters in suburban Cook and the Collar Counties supported the plan by a 68 percent to 31 percent margin, while 60 percent of downstate voters supported and 37 percent opposed the plan.
Currently Illinois does not tax retirement income.
Overwhelmingly, voters like it that way according to the Simon poll.
The Simon Poll has consistently asked whether voters favored applying the state income tax to retirement income. The results have generally been negative on this proposition and this year was no exception. Statewide, 73 percent of the respondents said they somewhat opposed or strongly opposed making this change, while a net of only 23 percent either favored or somewhat favored. Twenty-nine percent of the residents of Chicago favored and 67 percent opposed taxing retirement income such as Social Security. The idea was even less popular in the suburbs and downstate where only 23 percent and 18 percent respectively favored this change. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats favored and 67 percent opposed; while 18 percent of Independents and Republicans supported with over 70 percent opposed in both groups.
Rising in opposition to popular opinion, Illinois Republicans are frantically trying to stop the move to a fair tax.
With Gov. J.B. Pritzker continuing to press for a graduated state income tax, a group of Illinois Senate Republicans want to add a constitutional amendment that would make it very difficult to raise taxes of any kind.
The Republicans filed the proposed amendment Tuesday. It would require the House and Senate to approve any kind of tax increase by a two-thirds vote.
That’s not going to happen.