By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

Ordinary Illinoisans may be tempted to support Gov. Pritzker’s plan to change Illinois’ flat tax structure to a progressive one. After all, he’s promised to keep taxes the same or lower on 97 percent of Illinoisans if they support the switch. Everyone should reject his offer. Simply put, the governor’s “Fair Tax” rates aren’t credible. Here’s why:

Amendment now, rates later. The vote for/against a constitutional amendment will only determine whether a progressive tax structure is allowed or not. Nobody knows where the actual rates will end up.

Support for the amendment means entrusting the most corrupt politicians in the nation with what amounts to a blank check. A recent investigative study by ABC7 found that Illinois is “the most corrupt state in America.” Since 2000, there have been 891 convictions for public corruption in Illinois, the most in the nation. Illinois politicians don’t deserve taxpayers’ trust.

Taxing only the rich won’t work. There’s little incentive for wealthy residents to stay if they get stuck with a 60 percent increase in their income tax rates. The 20,000 Illinoisans who make $1 million-plus currently provide more than 16 percent of the state’s revenues. Not that many have to leave to wreck Pritzker’s plans.

Pritzker’s “Fair Tax” isn’t a real plan. The governor’s low introductory rates raise a reported $3.6 billion in new revenue, only a fraction of the $10 billion-plus he needs if he tries to fulfill his spending promises and refuses to make any reforms. It’s much like a cable company offering an “introductory” deal just to rope you in. And remember, because Pritzker refuses to fix Illinois’ structural problems, the state’s fiscal holes will only get bigger.

The middle class will be targeted. The governor will eventually need more money to fulfill his promises and fill the holes created by a lack of reform. But there are simply not enough wealthy people for Pritzker to tax. To get the funding he wants, Wirepoints calculated Pritzker will raise taxes on the middle class, starting on incomes of $50,000 and above.

The tax will only make what’s wrong with Illinois worse. Real home values in Illinois are falling. Residents are leaving in record numbers. Taxes, including property tax rates, are already among the highest in the nation. And our politicians are the country’s most corrupt. A multi-billion dollar tax hike will make every one of those things worse.

Read more about why Illinoisans should reject the progressive tax:

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I pay almost 40% of my social security for property tax. It’s ludicrous. Illinois politicians are all thieves and whores and should be ashamed of themselves.

Poor Taxpayer

They are doing you a favor. This will be the stray that broke the camels back. You were on the fence about moving out of Illinois, now you will rush out and KISS it GOOD BYE.
That will be the best day of your life.
More than 100,000 people a year will move and that will stay that way for years to come.
Illinois is DOA, the greed of the cops, teachers and firemen have destroyed the quality of life for the honest hard working taxpayer.


no mention of taxing pensions. no mention of taxing public employees who collect their pension but live outside the state of IL

The Truth Hurts

If you want to tax pensions then you would need to tax both public and private pensions. Don’t worry it’s coming.

There is no mention of taxing public employees who collect pensions outside of the state because it violates federal law. You would need US lawmakers to change the law.


State tax income accrues to the state of a public employment retiree’s current legal residence rather than the state paying the bill. Federal law requires it.


Good luck with that. Ain’t gonna happen by election in Illinois.

Peter T Burchard

Pure bait and switch. The hucksters remain in charge.


JB’s taxpayer bracket breakdown informs us that only 11% of single/joint tax filers earn between $100,000 and $250,000. That means less than 15% of taxpayers make more than $100,000. So anyone earning above $100,000 is an easy target for a tax hike down the road. There’s no way that rate that bracket will stay below 5%. If the Fair Tax had a bracket that was instead $10,000 – $250,000, I’d be inclined to think it would be a hard sell to raise that rate. But it’s not. JB deliberately segregated a small portion of taxpayers for the very purpose of… Read more »

The Truth Hurts

Actually the brackets and the proposed amendment have nothing to do with each other. So even if JB had done what you said and made the brackets from 10k-250k he could easily alter the brackets after the amendment passes. Although you bring up a good point. Had he done what you said maybe he could have fooled more people.


Is that right? Only 15% of state filers earn in excess of $100k a year? If that’s true, that’s some serious wealth disparity going on.


Yep. According to that same chart, 27% of the taxpayers earn $10,000 or less! That’s shocking. I assume that’s mostly school kids? I’d love to see the breakdown of that bracket.

The issue is simple. It is spending REFORMS that are desperately needed – not further tax increases. Flat rate Income taxes are already “graduated” in effect, the more you earn the more you pay. And it is the only meaningful fiscal control in the Constitution. A constitutional amendment to suddenly empower politicians to play insider money games with tax rates is just an incentive to more corruption in government. How many politicians have to go to jail before the citizens of Illinois can be saved ?


Great article guys ! I remember reading that Pritzker said: “If progressive income tax is not adopted, we’ll need to cut spending drastically”. Imagine that……seems like a good answer ! I live in tax-hell Maryland, where state income tax rate is 8%, or 9% for earners over 200k joint-filers, but Maryland is SNEAKY about that — they say the STATE income tax is 5.5% and county tax is 3.2% but it’s required to be added to the state income tax on the state income tax form. So the truth is the total 8% or 9% on nearly all income, it’s… Read more »

Kurt Dorr

Here is what Ralph Martire said in Naperville the other night. I have another portion I need to upload to Youtube. Once I have it done I will upload it. Do you mind critiquing it?

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