Local

Democrats’ Tax Proposal Sets Stage for 2014

Influential Democrats in Springfield are pushing for a change to Illinois’ income tax that could become a contentious issue in next year’s elections.

The proposal is for Illinois to adopt a graduated or “progressive” tax, instead of extending a temporary increase in the current flat tax or letting that increase expire.

Under a graduated tax, higher earners pay a larger percentage of their income than middle and lower-class taxpayers.

Democrats say it’s fairer and that a majority of Illinoisans would get a tax cut. But Republicans say it’s a tax hike in disguise that will drive out jobs.

Illinois’ Constitution currently requires a flat income tax. Changing it would require a three-fifths vote in the Legislature and approval by voters.

Supporters hope it will be on the November 2014 ballot.