* Sun-Times editorial…
As part of an effort to build political support for a graduated income tax in Illinois, state Senate President John Cullerton has proposed repealing the state’s estate tax. His hope is that some Republicans and Downstate and suburban Democrats —who loathe a graduated income tax because it taxes wealthier people at higher rates — might warm to it in return for ending the estate tax, which they also loathe.
We think this is a bad idea.
At a time when our state and nation are threatened by historical levels of inequality, where the richest 1 percent hold 40 percent of the wealth, we can’t see the wisdom in eliminating one of the few direct ways to check this dangerously un-American trend.
There’s an argument for revising Illinois’ estate tax to make it less of a burden on, say, family farmers, by increasing the threshold at which it kicks in and pegging it to the rate of inflation. Since 2013, the graduated tax has been levied on estates valued at $4 million more. The first $40,000 to $90,000 is taxed at .8 percent, while values above $10.04 million are taxed at the highest rate, 16 percent.
Some Chicago Democrats also pushed for the bill after feedback from their constituents.
* The Question: Abolish, modify or keep the estate tax as it is? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…