Gov. Pritzker’s proposal for Illinoisans to adopt to the graduated income tax is going to be polled ahead of the 60 percent supermajority required to change the state constitution. This is according to a well-respected survey conducted annually by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The poll is also known as Simon Poll. The poll found that almost two-thirds of the 1,000 registered Illinois voters surveyed, 65 percent, in favor of a progressive income tax, which Pritzker has labeled the “fair tax.” The poll found that 44 percent of the people were strongly in favor of the graduated income tax while an additional 21 percent were somewhat favoring it.
A majority favored it in all geographic breakdowns, with 73 percent of Chicagoans, 68 percent of suburbanites, and 55 percent of all other Illinoisans in favor. More than double of the Democrats are in favor of the proposal than the Republicans, with 83 percent of Dems and 41 percent of the GOP in favor. The majority of the self-declared independents are also in favor of the change.
The support is at 59 percent just under the 60 percent supermajority required in a statewide referendum to change the state constitution. Last year, the General Assembly passed the proposed fair tax. The GA also passed it with tax brackets so that 97 percent of Illinois taxpayers pay the same or less as under the current 4.95 percent flat tax. The remaining 3 percent that earns more than $250,000 will have to pay more but at top rates below the top brackets in Iowa and Minnesota.
In order to amend the Illinois constitution, it needs to pass a statewide referendum as part of the November general election with a 60 percent supermajority. There is plenty of opposition to this bill as well. The poll found that 32 percent of statewide voters oppose the change along with special-interest groups — mostly Republican anti-taxers — have been trying to grow that opposition while using it as a campaign issue.