Illinois voters favor a fair income tax by a supermajority margin and no tax on retirement income.


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.

6 thoughts on “Illinois voters favor a fair income tax by a supermajority margin and no tax on retirement income.

  1. What if 100% of the money that came from taxing pensions went towards shoring up pensions. I think most of us retirees might agree to that. Especially if they started from some reasonable point like 50k and up. This way we get all the wealthy elite to pony up.

    1. Jack. You mean we should pay a tax to pay for our pensions when we already paid for our pensions. Not me, brother. Plus it will never happen. This would not mean just taxing public employee retirement income. It means taxing everyone’s retirement income, social security, 401Ks, all of it. . The legislature will never agree to it.

  2. In theory I support a ‘fair income tax.’ However my concern is this is IL where what is said is not what is always done. Remember the tax [don’t remember if it was a state sales or income] that was supposed to be temporary but became permanent? What guarantee, if any, do we have that what is currently proposed will be what is in place in 5,10 years or more??

  3. Well, most states do. I’m just saying it is a way to get fat cats to pay up. I did say also they could start at maybe above a certain threshold like 50k. While I can see why people are fleeing the state of Illinois I can see why most retirees are staying put.

  4. Tax the rich…feed the poor…’till there are no rich no more.

    Are billionaires justifiable?…I often wonder?

    Five million dollars x 100 = just one half billion

    Ten million dollars x 100 = one billion

    It’s hard for us (non-billionaire) citizens to comprehend the sum of just one billion dollars.

    Who needs one billion dollars in a country where poor children go to bed hungry?…I often wonder.

  5. If billionaires and millionaires were giving back to their employees (i.e., wages, and benefits including, but not limited to, health insurance, paid maternity/paternatity leave.), the fact that they pay little to no federal income tax wouldn’t be quite so appalling.

    I make under $40,000 annually. Part of that income is SS benefits from my deceased husband who passed away in 2001. I was unable to collect these benefits until I turned 60. After receiving these benefits, I owed more federal taxes. When I owed in excess of $1200 I taxes and could not pay it, my SS monthly payments were taxed at 15% per month until that $1200 was paid in full. That has happened to me every year since 2016.

    So why can billionaires and millionaires get away paying $0 and someone earning $40,000 have a 15% lien placed their “earned” SS benefits because they owed a lousy $1,200 to IRS.

    Does that sound fair or equitable by any standard?

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