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#TaxSplaining: Income tax hikes are historically rare here

Thursday, Mar 14, 2019

* Illinois Policy Institute

Persistent income tax hikes for decades have not been able to fix the state’s finances […]

Given the state’s income tax history, it is especially concerning that Pritzker’s proposed “fair tax” does not include any protection against future tax hikes for middle-class Illinoisans

A history of persistent income tax hikes? The income tax was increased in 2011, partially rolled back in 2015 and partially restored in 2017. The last time the General Assembly voted to raise the state’s income tax before all that was in 1989.

That’s thirty years ago, folks. In three decades, the income tax was raised once to 5 percent and it’s now at 4.95 percent.

It’s rare because it’s so darned difficult to do. Those who think it’s so easy must’ve missed that excruciating two-year fight over tax rates which ended with a bunch of House Republicans quitting. I mean, it was in all the papers.

* More

The last state to implement a plan similar to Pritzker’s was Connecticut in 1996. State lawmakers made the same promises of middle-class tax cuts, property tax relief and increased spending on social services. But those promises were broken. The typical Connecticut family saw a 13 percent hike in their income tax rates, property tax burdens increased 35 percent, and the poverty rate increased 47 percent.

What they don’t tell you is that the marginal income tax rate on a typical Connecticut family rose from 4.5 percent all the way up to a totally ridiculous 5 percent in 23 years. Whew. Those poor, put-upon Connecticutans (Connecticutites? Connecticutians?).

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments »
  1. - NomChompsky - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    Connecticuters.


  2. - Downstate - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    ===Those poor, put-upon Connecticutans (Connecticutites? Connecticutians?). ===

    Nutmeggers


  3. - thunderspirit - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    If it happens more than once, it’s persistent to IPI.

    Unless of course you’re talking about not presenting a budget for the first two years of a governorship. Then it’s refreshing, or something like that.


  4. - Just Observing - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    Per Wikipedia, Conn. denomyms are:

    Connecticuter
    Connecticutian
    Nutmegger

    More on nutmegger:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmegger


  5. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    =A history of persistent income tax hikes?=

    The argument goes that Democrats just want to raise your taxes, and Republicans just want to gut spending. The reality shows that neither statements are true.


  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    Found it: According to Webster’s New International Dictionary, 1993, a person who is a native or resident of Connecticut is a “Connecticuter” …

    “Nutmegger” is sometimes used. It is derived from the nickname, the Nutmeg State, based on the practice of the Connecticut peddlers who traveled about selling nutmegs.

    There is not, however, any nickname that has been officially adopted by the State for its residents.

    https://ctstatelibrary.org/CT-nicknames

    I like Connecticutians the best. Pronounced like Lilliputians.

    Now, back to the topic.


  7. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    Connecticut is our east coast sister-school: Our Lady of Crippling Pension Debt.


  8. - Rabid - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    JB championed a tax cut for the middle class, your fightin for the same people supposedly


  9. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    Interesting that their introductory graduated rate structure was a tax cut for 100% tax filers.


  10. - Skeptic - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    Connecticutistanians.


  11. - Skeptic - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    “Interesting that their introductory graduated rate structure was a tax cut for 100% tax filers.” Where does it say that?


  12. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    Really, you can argue that the rate didn’t change from 1969, when it was implemented until 2010. It began as 2.5%, then bounced around in the 1980s, going up to 3% once, but hovering around 2.75% most of the time. So, our income tax rate had relatively been the same for 50 years, until the jump to 5%.


  13. - Annonin' - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    Tryin’ to remember how many times the reckless legislators hiked the rates between 1970 and 1989? So it looks like the 3%ers are forced to oppose the fair Tax with the lonely idea that they are protecting the Rauner Rates.


  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    –Persistent income tax hikes for decades…–

    The words must have been chosen by random. Just lazy, lousy writing


  15. - Actual Red - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    I think (hope) that the IPI is fighting a losing battle here. Pritzker’s camp gets to run on “cuts for 97% of people” while the IPI has to make due with “our poor, put upon, beloved millionaires will all leave!”


  16. - Big Jer - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    ===was a tax cut for 100% tax filers===

    Do you have a source for the above statement?

    Because the link below shows that Ct’s first graduated structure had two brackets with the top tier being the same rate as the flat tax from the previous year.

    Unless you are adding personal exemptions, credits, and rate phase-out and recapture requirements.

    https://www.cga.ct.gov/2018/rpt/pdf/2018-R-0058.pdf

    City — It is helpful to people trying to understand your arguments if you provide context and as much information as possible here.


  17. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    ==Persistent income tax hikes for decades==

    The IPI hasn’t always concerned themselves with facts. They come up with a conclusions first.

    ==does not include any protection against future tax hikes==

    There aren’t any protections now.


  18. - Hieronymus - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Make no mistake, those who oppose the graduated tax on the 3 percent are going to cling to their opposition with the same tenacity as Gollum. Like his Precious, it’s all they care about, and they will say and do anything to achieve their goal.


  19. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    Perfidy, perfidy, IPI perfidy


  20. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    The right wing scare tactics are so old and transparently bogus. It would be best if we discard those and move toward reality, that we can raise taxes on the wealthy to better-protect those who are not, like social services recipients, government employees and many students.

    Why won’t the House GOP negotiate for the graduated income tax? The vast majority of state residents would get a tax cut right off the bat. How is that not attractive to the political party whose essence supposedly is to cut taxes? Why would the ILGOP pass up an opportunity to negotiate and try to improve Pritzker’s proposal? It would mean the vast majority of us would be giving less of our money to government and to Madigan—right up the GOP’s alley.


  21. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    Big Jer - That’s all I had to go on was the brackets. Maybe there were other rules or phase-outs in place. But it looks like CT’s first attempt at tax fairness was revenue neutral, at most.

    But hey, look, married brackets twice the rate of the single brackets. What a novel concept.


  22. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    In 1987, illinois median income approx $31/k. Today, approx $63k. Thats a bunch more income tax.


  23. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 12:56 pm:

    === What they don’t tell you ===

    For heaven’s sake, Connecticut has the sixth-highest income and 5th lowest crime rate in the country.

    If you are trying to scare people, I recommend steering clear of the “OMG we might end up like Connecticut!” argument.


  24. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    ==Thats a bunch more income tax.==

    And inflation.


  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    Them darn democrats, taxin’ and spendin’ and tryin’ to hurt our Job Creators(tm) We need a ‘overnor who will refuse to spend another red cent. Hopefully for at least two years.


  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    Our debt burden is huge and government spending goes up much faster then income in Illinois. Yes, it easier to raise taxes under a progressive income tax. This is one of the reasons politicians want it. Just change the rates and brackets. Put a three fifths vote in the referendum, for the house and senate to raise rates. Let the politicians think about it.


  27. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    Blue Dog Dem: What was the cost of paving a mile of road in 1987? And today?


  28. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    =Yes, it easier to raise taxes under a progressive income tax. This is one of the reasons politicians want it.=

    Your opinion not supported by facts. And if they’ve been chomping at the bit to do this what took them so long?


  29. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    ===easier to raise taxes under a progressive income tax===

    On higher incomes, yes.


  30. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    ==Yes, it easier to raise taxes under a progressive income tax==

    Why is it any easier than it is now?


  31. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    ==Why is it any easier than it is now?==
    You’re seriously asking? Because you can raise revenue significiantly while only raising taxes on 3% of taxpayers.


  32. - Angry Republican - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    You know what else is historically rare, an actuarially balanced budget. My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be paying for goods and services consumed 20 years ago.


  33. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 5:04 pm:

    ===What was the cost of paving a mile of road in 1987?===

    Doesn’t have much to do with the state income tax, progressive or otherwise. The Capital Bill thread called and it wants its topic back.


  34. - South Side Sam - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 6:42 pm:

    Not in favor of a success tax.
    Work hard, work long hours , work weekends to provide the best for your family and send a higher % of it to Springfield. Because they are so good at managing finances ?


  35. - Sam Hall - Thursday, Mar 14, 19 @ 10:40 pm:

    If we want to get the millionaires to pay more why not a Mansion Tax on homes sold over $750k?


  36. - Rabid - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 8:55 am:

    have a contest, whoever pays the most state taxes gets the key to the state a night at the executive mansion on their birthday


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