Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s for a progressive or graduated income tax. This is an income tax structure that charges a higher rate on higher levels of income, like the federal income tax. It would take a constitutional amendment, and that’s being talked about, and the governor says he’s in favor of it.
“I’ve been for that for a long, long time. I think taxes should be based on ability to pay, and that’s a principle as old as the Bible, and I think we need to pay attention to it,” he said.
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The Constitution requires that an income tax be a flat tax. A constitutional amendment requires a three-fifths vote in both the House and the Senate to place it on the ballot. That’s 71 votes in the House, and Democrats hold 71 seats. Illinois House Republicans are unified in opposition, so if even one Democrat in the House is opposed, it won’t pass.
The governor says he’s aware that passing this will be difficult, but he’s not afraid of that. He says a progressive tax will probably be part of his campaign to raise the minimum wage.