On a party line vote, a House committee Monday sent the constitutional amendment to bring a graduated state income tax to Illinois to the full chamber for a vote.
The amendment’s proponents, however, dodged questions from House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs about whether there are 71 votes in the House to approve the amendment and place it on the November 2020 ballot for voters to consider.
Also, House committees have so far not taken up any of the three companion bills that were approved by the Senate which set the rates that would be in force with the graduated tax, that would eliminate the estate tax in Illinois and would provide some property tax relief if the state puts more money into K-12 education. […]
It was Durkin, who is not a regular member of the committee, who cut to the critical question of whether the supporters of the graduated tax believe they have the necessary 71 votes lined up to put the issue on the ballot. Neither the amendment sponsor, Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, nor representatives from Pritzker’s office would directly answer the question.
* It’s looking like they have the votes…
All six Republicans on the committee sided with Reick, while all nine Democrats supported the amendment — even one who had stated publicly he was leaning against voting for a graduated tax amendment.
That legislator is Jonathan Carroll, a Northbrook resident who is widely believed to be a swing vote in the 74-member Democratic House caucus. To be put on the ballot, the amendment, which has already passed the Senate, needs 71 votes in the House.
“I still have strong reservations on this,” Carroll said, calling it “way too important of an issue” not to be brought for a full floor vote. He also said his committee vote does not mean he would necessarily vote for the amendment when it comes before the full House.
* Rep. Carroll approvingly posted what I think is an Illinois Policy Institute cartoon on his Facebook page over the weekend…
And then he pulled it down.
…Adding… It is indeed an IPI mailer. Click here to see it.
* The House may not get to the rate bill this month. We’ll see…
House Democrats are still negotiating with the governor’s office over the rate structure and potential property tax relief, a key issue for some holdouts.
Illinois income tax calculator: How would Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax affect you?
“They want to use that leverage to extract as much property tax relief as they can,” Rep. Robert Martwick, a Chicago Democrat who’s sponsoring the proposed constitutional amendment, said before Monday’s hearing. “When you’ve got a rate structure that’s going to get you enough to close the structural deficit and a little more, then you have to figure out where it fits into the list of priorities.”
Asked during Monday’s committee meeting how a rate proposal in the House will differ from proposals from Pritzker’s administration and the Senate, Martwick said he expects it will be “substantially similar to what we’ve seen.”
I still think the better way is to do everything at once and get it over with.