PI Original Josh Kalven Monday April 7th, 2008, 11:06am

Give Rep. Smith's Graduated Tax Plan A Push

Prairie State Blue has put out the call for readers to contact their representatives in Springfield and urge them to support HJRCA 42. And it's one we second.

This is the constitutional amendment proposed by Rep. Mike Smith (D-Canton) to replace Illinois' flat income ...

Prairie State Blue has put out the call for readers to contact their representatives in Springfield and urge them to support HJRCA 42. And it's one we second.

This is the constitutional amendment proposed by Rep. Mike Smith (D-Canton) to replace Illinois' flat income tax rate with a graduated system. This legislation would first revise the Illinois State Constitution, which currently stipulates that the income tax "shall be at a non-graduated rate." Having dispatched with that restriction, the amendment would do the following, as explained by Dan Johnson-Weinberger:

1. It would cut taxes on most working families by making the first $4200 earned tax-free. Right now only the first $2100 earned is tax free, so we are perpetuating poverty by taking people who make minimum wage. That's dumb.

2. It would create a new tax bracket of $250,000. Any income earned above the quarter-million dollar level would be taxed at 6%, not 3%. So Michael Jordan's $31 million earned last year would face a tax bill of 3% for the first $250,000 and 6% of the net $30,750,000. And you know what? I think he can afford it.

The amendment has been assigned to the State Government Administration Committee and is scheduled to be heard this week. But in order to appear on the November ballot, it must be passed by a three-fifths vote in both chambers before May 4th. That's 27 days from now. So if you support Smith's proposal as a way to raise much-needed revenue in Illinois, call your state senators and representatives today and let 'em know.

(Not sure who represents you in the General Assembly? Plug in your address here and find out.)

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