What can I say to convince my retired friends that the graduated tax amendment on the current ballot has nothing to do with taxing retirement benefits?
The tv ad campaign paid for by Citadel hedge fund boss and one of Illinois’ wealthiest people, Ken Griffin, got the jump on the pro-fair tax people in framing it this way.
It was always snake oil.
But Griffin gave the lie away by attacking Governor Pritzker as a “master tax avoider.” Pritzker ran for governor promising to put the amendment on the ballot and he has kept his word.
Griffin shouldn’t be so modest. When it comes to tax avoidance, Griffin is no less a master.
He has threatened that if the amendment passes he will move Citadel to Texas or Florida or wherever to avoid taxes.
Shia Kappos in Politico:
“I am not willing to stand by as, once again, spineless politicians try to sell a trick disguised as a solution. Particularly not from a governor who, having inherited a great deal of wealth, has worked so diligently to avoid paying taxes himself,” Griffin wrote in an email obtained by the Tribune, which was verified by a company spokesman.
Griffin also offers a veiled threat that his company could leave Illinois for a place with friendlier tax rates. “Governors of Florida, Texas and other states have made compelling pitches for businesses — like Citadel — to leave Illinois,” he wrote.
If it passes, the amendment would change Illinois’ flat personal income tax system to one where wealthier residents pay a higher rate. Supporters say people who earn $250,000 or less make up 97 percent of Illinois residents, and would pay the same or less in taxes.
The impact on wealthy residents must be profound if you consider the eight-figure amount Griffin has spent just trying to defeat the ballot measure.
We are a week and a half away from the last voting day.
No doubt many retirees like me have already voted.
I hope they didn’t fall for Griffin’s baloney that the graduated tax is about retirement income being taxed.
It’s about billionaires being taxed.