Is the graduated income tax proposed last week by Democrats already on its way to defeat?

Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks said he’s not in favor of the idea.

“I’m not supportive of that,” Franks said. “Correct.”

There are 71 Democrats in the Illinois House. That’s the exact number of votes a bill needs to survive a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who opposes the tax increase plan.

Franks said he has never supported a tax increase. A spokesman for Speaker Michael Madigan declined comment.

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Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang said his proposed graduated tax would be a tax cut for 99 percent of Illinoisans. The current flat rate, regardless of income, is 3.75 percent. Lang’s proposal would lower that rate to 3.5 percent for anyone making $100,000 or less. The rate would be 9.75 for anyone making more than a million dollars.

Rauner Press Secretary Catherine Kelly signaled the bill would be vetoed, saying a progressive tax “would be the straw that breaks the Illinois economy’s back.”

Meanwhile a measure to freeze property taxes for certain communities in Illinois may not make it past the governor’s desk.

Franks said his bill, which passed the House Thursday, only address freezing property taxes for smaller communities that do not have what is called “home rule” authority.

“And what that means is if local governments, if they want to get more from our taxpayers they are going to have to go referendum,” Franks said. “They are no longer going to be able to get automatic increases.”

The measure received 71 votes, enough to override a veto.

Gov. Rauner has advocated for a property tax freeze for the entire state, not just communities without home-rule designation. Rauner also wants any property tax freeze to be coupled with ways for local governments to control bargaining and bidding costs.

Franks said the governor won’t get his way.

“I’m not prepared to hold up on property tax relief for all of our citizens to play politics,” Franks said.

Opponents say freezing property taxes could put local units of government such school districts in a tough spot if they need money. Supporters of the freeze say the districts could still levy a property tax increase, but they would have to persuade voters it is needed.


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