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Illinois rejects graduated income tax amendment

Illinois rejects graduated income tax amendment
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Illinois voters have rejected a ballot measure to allow the state to have a graduated income tax, a move that would have made the state's tax code more progressive.

The Associated Press reported midday Wednesday that the amendment failed.

The amendment would have removed language from the state constitution that requires the state to have a flat income tax.

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The amendment itself would not have set a new tax rate structure, but the Illinois state legislature last year approved new tax rates that would have gone into effect Jan. 1 if the amendment had passed.

Currently, Illinois has one individual income tax rate of 4.95 percent. Under the measure approved by the state legislature, income above $250,000 would have been taxed at higher rates, income between $100,000 and $250,000 would generally have remained taxed at 4.95 percent, and income below $100,000 would generally have been taxed at lower rates.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) had been a leading proponent of the ballot measure, donating tens of millions of dollars of his own money to a group that advocated for passage.

Supporters of the measure argued that it would have led to tax reductions for most households and tax increases only for high-income households. They argued that the measure would have made the state’s tax system more fair and would have raised revenue to help fund state services and address the state’s deficit.

The measure was opposed by a number of business groups that argued that it would have made it easier for the state to raise taxes and would have hurt the state’s business climate.