Rep. Sosnowski: Graduated tax is 'reckless referendum'

Published: May. 20, 2020 at 12:33 PM CDT
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Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) introduced legislation to withdraw a referendum from the November ballot on Tuesday.

The initial referendum would amend the Illinois Constitution to impose a graduated income tax on all Illinois earners, both individuals and businesses starting on Jan. 1, 2021. The referendum is currently supported by Gov. Pritzker for the Nov. 3 ballot.

The legislation Rep. Sosnowski proposed to remove the referendum — HJR 123 — currently has a total of 43 sponsors in the Illinois House of Representatives, according to Sosnowski.

“After the dust settles from all the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19, the last thing Illinois families and job creators can endure is another crushing income tax hike,” Sosnowski said. “We need to act now to remove this reckless referendum from the November ballot while we still have time.”

More than 100,000 small businesses, which file as “pass-through” entities, would see tax hikes of up to 47 percent under the graduated income tax rates approved by the General Assembly last year, set to take effect should the ballot referendum pass in November, according to Sosnowski.

Small businesses organized as C-corps would face an initial 10 percent income tax hike, bringing Illinois’ corporate income taxes to the third-highest in the nation. Corporate income taxes could increase to the highest in the nation at 15.28 percent, according to Sosnowski.

Sosnowksi also says the typical Illinois family would have to pay anywhere between $286 and $1,056 more under a graduated income tax if lawmakers rely solely on increased revenue to offset income tax revenue losses from the COVID-19 outbreak.