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Pritzker says no “artificial progressive income tax” on horizon

Thursday, Nov 8, 2018

* Frankly, this ain’t a bad headline if you’re the incoming governor

Gov.-Elect J.B. Pritzker Backs Off Temporary Tax Plan

* And this ain’t a bad lede, either

A day after a decisive win over Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, Democratic Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker pulled back on a campaign proposal that he’d temporarily raise the state flat income tax rate as he works to enact a progressive income tax structure.

* Let’s get into the two stories

Pritzker previous said Illinois could “do what other states have done with a flat income tax and that is to put exemptions in place, to raise the overall rate, but protect the middle class and those striving to get there with those exemptions and then increase the earned income tax credit.”

“That has the effect of a progressive income tax, but frankly it’s very temporary, so that’s why we have to go after immediately,” Pritkzer said on “Chicago Tonight” in January.

But he appeared to reverse course in a one-on-one interview Wednesday.

“That’s not something I’m looking at currently,” he said.

OK, but if you watch the video clip he said this during the primary

…But frankly it’s very temporary, so that’s why we have to go after immediately and I have put a plan forward for doing that, go after immediately for getting a constitutional amendment in place.

So he didn’t actually say that he would go after a tax hike with lots of exemptions immediately. He said he’d try immediately to get a constitutional amendment in place to allow for a graduated income tax system.

* From the other story

In April, Pritzker admitted his progressive income tax would take “a little time” — about two years — to get passed through the Legislature.

In the interim, he said he’d seek a Massachusetts model, “an artificial progressive income tax, in which we would raise the exemptions for those striving to get to the middle class … and raise the overall rate and then raise the earned income tax credit at the same time. All of which would create a kind of artificial gradual income tax in the state.”

* His full quote

“It would take us about two years in total to get it all done and said, that we would have a progressive income tax,” Pritzker said at a Loop news conference.

“So in the meantime, you could have what I would describe as … an artificial progressive income tax in which we would raise the exemptions for those striving to get to the middle class, those in the middle class too, and raise the overall rate and raise the earned income tax credit at the same time — all of which would create a kind of artificial graduated income tax in the state,” he said.

Sounds more like spitballing than an actual promise to do it, but whatevs. Upper-income earners aren’t facing an immediate tax hike so they can breathe a little easier.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    Good. Something of this magnitude can’t be rushed. My hope is that there’s a progressive tax that’s done carefully and to help reduce the tax burdens of many.

  2. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    You know what JB stands for?

    TAX CUT!

  3. - City Zen - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    Smart move. Why burst out of the gate with a tax increase? Although it might be easier to sell progressive tax brackets as reductions if you raise the flat rate now.

  4. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    Dems have supermajorities, better to get the Progressive income tax amendment right to be submitted for approval on the 2020 ballot

  5. - Real - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    What will Rauner and all the GOP voters say now? All over social media after the election saying get ready for a tax hike.

  6. - Reality - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    If the governor does not propose any tax increase for FY20, but one is approved by the legislature, would he veto it?

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    –Sounds more like spitballing than an actual promise to do it…–

    He did a lot of that early on, which can get you in trouble.

    Seems that later on he took Edgar’s advice and tightened it up.

  8. - Saluki - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:41 am:

  9. - MT - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    Probably hoping that the Democratic House can bring back the SALT deduction at the federal level before passing an increase on high earners at the state level.

  10. - Anon221 - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    FY 18 tax returns may be a big wake-up call to T supporters, and may help move along the progressive tax change policy with associated tax credits/deductions. Even T (who is a bit shaken and stirred right now), has been rattling off tax strategies, to the consternation of Norquist

  11. - Steve - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 12:05 pm:


    Those SALT deductions aren’t coming back anytime soon. Do you really think the U.S. Senate is going to go along with that? Come on.

  12. - Arsenal - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    ==He did a lot of that early on, which can get you in trouble.==

    And it did (”Mileage Tax”). But it also helped people come away from talking with him feeling like he actually knew his stuff, so it wasn’t all bad.

  13. - onto2020 - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    How are JB’s supporters going to feel about this when they thought he was going to get into office and raise taxes on the wealthy and lower taxes on the middle class? Now they have to wait a couple of years.

  14. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    The Trump Tax bill is horrible for the upper middle class ($75k-200k earners), who make up a large portion of the voters in the 6th Congressional District - it’s why they just threw out the bill’s author Peter Roskam.

  15. - A Jack - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    Well good. I wasn’t sure that the artificial progressive tax was really workable. It is much better and less of a legal challenge to wait on the Constitutional amendment.

  16. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    If there in no significant increase in revenue for two or three years, i expect the budget innovation team to quickly identify the $1 to $2 billion per year in cuts. I volunteer to help.

  17. - Arsenal - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    ==How are JB’s supporters going to feel==

    We’re fine, thanks. We just spent a whole campaign telling the other side to stop screaming about tax hikes, so this actually helps.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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