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Lang explains graduated tax hike proposal

Friday, Apr 15, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) on Friday filed legislation, House Bill 689, that would reform the Illinois tax code, providing a tax cut to 99% of Illinois taxpayers while raising an additional $1.9 billion dollars to help fund essential state services.

Illinois is well into its tenth month without a budget, and while lawmakers and the Governor have long recognized the need for new revenue to invest in children, families and communities, our outdated tax laws mean that we cannot raise new revenue without raising taxes on those least able to afford it, Lang says.

“We don’t have to stay stuck in the past. There is another path forward that puts tax dollars back in the hands of hardworking families and eases the pain caused by recent budget cuts,” said Lang. “When my bill passes and the governor signs it, ninety-nine percent of taxpayers will get a tax cut.”

Lang’s bill works in tandem with State Rep. Christian Mitchell’s (D-Chicago) Constitutional Amendment resolution, HJRCA-59, which would allow Illinois voters to choose to reform our tax code by voting for fair tax where lower rates apply to lower incomes and higher rates apply to higher incomes.

Illinois is one of only a handful of states that has a flat income tax, which forces middle class families to carry the majority of the tax load. When Illinois amends its constitution to allow for a fair tax, the General Assembly will no longer be forced to raise taxes on the hard-working middle class families who can least afford it, Mitchell argues.

“The Fair Tax, where lower rates would apply to lower incomes and higher rates would apply to higher incomes, is long over due in our state. It is fundamentally unfair that our tax rate is the same no matter if you are a minimum wage worker or a millionaire, ” said Mitchell. “With a Fair Tax, we can provide tax relief for ninety-nine perfect of taxpayers, and reform our outdated tax code.”

State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), who is Chief Sponsor of the Fair Tax in the Senate welcomed the move by Lang.

“I’m delighted to work with Leader Lang and Representative Mitchell to help cut taxes on working families,” Harmon said. “We offer this as a serious solution to moving our state forward and we hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join us in effort to make our state more fair and to help provide revenue to the vital services we all care deeply about.”


  1. - Tone - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:00 pm:

    Not having a state budget has worked just fine. We have had some of the strongest job growth in a decade over the last year.

  2. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:03 pm:

    “Not having a state budget has worked just fine.”

    If there were ever any doubts about the quality of your judgment, this has removed them.

    – MrJM

  3. - Tone - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    Sorry, I should have been more clear. Chicago metro is booming and jobs are plentiful. We are at past peak employment in the metro area. The rest of the state struggles due to reliance on manufacturing and government. Not a good combo. I always wonder why IL farmers don’t start producing specialty products. Especially things like pheasant, guinea fowl, partridge, rabbit, etc. I would love to buy IL produced meats.

  4. - Norseman - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:08 pm:

    The really sad thing is that Rauner will spend millions of $ on ads thwacking Dem legis candidates on this issue when it would provide more meaningful reform of State government than Rauner’s TA. (A compromise version of workers comp, private/public business initiatives not included in this point as they can be valid economic growth efforts.)

  5. - Tone - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    Job growth in Chicago metro in 2015 was one of the strongest years in the last 20. 2016 is starting off strong as well. 1.8% job growth yoy in Chicago metro. 65,000 new jobs year over year and 25,000 in March from February 2016.

  6. - Norseman - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:10 pm:

    MrJM, please don’t feed the trolls.

  7. - Tone - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:11 pm:

    Again, the lack of a state budget has not hurt much if at all. I don’t know a single person who walks around saying, damn, if only there were a state budget my life would be better.

  8. - Trolling Troll - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:11 pm:

    Your move governor.

    I’ll have some of whatever it is that tone is smoking.

  9. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    This is sounding destined to become another in a string of failed efforts to change the Constitutional flat tax (see prior efforts by Harmon, Don and Jakobsson, Naomi).

  10. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:13 pm:

    === I don’t know a single person who walks around saying, damn, if only there were a state budget my life would be better.===

    Oh, well you should have said so sooner. We all know you’re the pulse of IL citizens. /s

  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:13 pm:

    Remember, Glum on Gulliver’s Travels was a character designed to show’s others’ hope. That’s what made Glum sad and endearing…

    To the Post,

    The discussion battle begins.

    Labor, what say you? Where do you, Labor, see this framed?

  12. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:16 pm:

    ==- Tone - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:00 pm:==

    Then why does Rauner insist on his worker-killing “Turnaround Agenda”?

  13. - Tone - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:16 pm:

    People should be ecstatic, job growth is strong with 25,000 new jobs in March from February alone in the Chicago metro. No budget has apparently helped job growth.

  14. - Tone - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:19 pm:

    We need less government spending and less public employees. Private sector job growth is strong, with the exception of manufacturing of course. Still in decline. Our labor costs are just too high. IL lost 3,000 manufacturing jobs in March from April and 7,000 from last year.

  15. - Austin Blvd - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    Yes Tone, tell us how much unemployment costs are increasing for the state due to your hero’s “starve the beast” approach.
    Tell us how much the state’s interest payments have increased to find vendors who have not been getting paid. Hint: it’s better to not get paid by the state than to invest in the stock market.

  16. - Austin Blvd - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:22 pm:

    Fund, not find. Dang autospell.

  17. - Seriously - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:23 pm:

    I have always believed that Madigan gave old Bruce his wish and let the temp tax increase expire knowing full well what Bruce had in mind for Illinois. The reason he did so was that Bruce would ruin Republicans chances of ever gaining control of Illinois. It was easy to see what a glorified Fred Sanford who got rich buying and selling other people’s junk would and do once he came into office with a lowered tax rate and therefore even less money.
    This will be Madigans ultimate legacy, to have let the Repubblican party have enough rope to hang itself and never gain control of Illinois.
    Bruce was bound to try the failed Vietnam strategy of burning down a village to save it.

  18. - Lakefront Liberal - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    “Lang explains graduated tax cut proposal”

    There - fixed it for you.

  19. - East Central Illinois - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    So do both HB 689 and HJRCA 59 both need to pass before this is implemented or does HB 689 stand alone?

  20. - Hamlet's Ghost - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    If the graduated income tax constitutional amendment goes on the November 2016 ballot then Governor Rauner’s position and the Democratic position can be tested with the voters.

    Soon enough we can start predicting over / under on GOP seats and Dem seats in the General Assembly that will be sworn in come January 2017.

    It’s all about November, now.

  21. - Chicago Travel Guy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    === I don’t know a single person who walks around saying, damn, if only there were a state budget my life would be better.===

    You must not know anyone suffering from mental illness, anyone trying to escape an abusive household, or any students depending on promised grants to attend college. You must not know any of the hundreds of university employees who received layoff notices. I guess if it doesn’t affect you, then it doesn’t matter.

  22. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    ==the General Assembly will no longer be forced to raise taxes on the hard-working middle class families who can least afford it==

    2010 3.00%
    2011-2015 5.00%
    2016 3.75%

    Illinois already has raised taxes on those families.

  23. - Midway Gardens - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    The modern Federal income tax started exclusively as a tax on the rich. Over time, the rich got for loopholes and the tax base was broadened increasingly to the middle class. This is the reality rather than the theory of ‘fairness’. Illinois will be no different. And if it’s not the rich can easily change their residency to avoid.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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