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Illinois Senate OKs graduated tax rates

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01: Illinois gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students at a creative workspace for women on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Pritzker was joined by his Illinois gubernatorial Lieutenant Governor candidate Juliana Stratton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they spoke to students about leadership. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Senate has approved a graduated income-tax structure that charges a rate of 7.99 percent for the most affluent residents.

The plan by Olympia Fields Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson was approved 36-22. It would not take effect until 2021 and only if voters approve a constitutional amendment to replace the flat-rate income tax. The Senate approved asking the voters to decide on an amendment earlier Wednesday.

Mattoon Republican Sen. Dale Righter says have varying rates makes it easier to raise tax rates in the future. He cited examples in other states where lawmakers raised the highest rates on the richest filers in order to raise revenue. He says an increase under a flat-rate system is harder because it means raising rates on everyone.

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1:50 p.m.

The Senate has approved a change in the state Constitution to replace the 4.95 percent flat tax system.

The vote Wednesday was 40-19.

The proposal would allow Illinois to implement a graduated income tax that would impose higher rates on more affluent filers.

It is an issue on which Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned for office. Advocates say a flat tax is regressive and takes a greater percentage of income from those least able to afford it.

The proposal needs to gain a three-fifths majority in the House too before it could be submitted to voters to on the November 2020 ballot.

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6:55 a.m.

Advocates of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated income tax are planning to take it to a vote in the state Senate.

The plan to replace the state’s 4.95 percent flat tax with a graduated system that puts a heavier burden on more affluent residents could be called in the Senate Wednesday.

A committee approved the measure Tuesday on a 13-6 partisan roll call vote.

The Democratic governor says 97% of taxpayers would see no tax increases. The plan would need voter approval in November 2020 if it’s approved by extraordinary legislative majorities.

Olympia Fields Democratic state Sen. Toi Hutchinson’s measure has a higher top rate than originally planned. It would be 7.99 percent for individual taxpayers making $750,000 or more. That rate would hit joint filers at $1 million to offset the so-called marriage penalty.

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