New year, new tax fight
The Illinois arm of Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative advocacy group, is targeting a handful of suburban Democratic state lawmakers with TV ads in its fight against the idea of a graduated income tax.
Here's an example of the spot, which also airs online, which subs in different lawmakers' names depending on where it runs. A spokesman said the first lawmakers being targeted include Reps. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills, Marty Moylan of Des Plaines, Deb Conroy of Villa Park and Stephanie Kifowit of Aurora.
None of the three have signed on to legislation to install a graduated income tax in Illinois, and they haven't signed onto a resolution opposing it.
Because state lawmakers' next budget year includes a reduction in the 2011 income tax hike and billions of dollars in unpaid bills won't be paid off anytime soon, taxes are set to be a big topic of debate next year.
How the idea of a graduated income tax plays into that remains to be seen. Illinois now has a 5 percent income tax for individuals. A graduated tax would set different rates depending on someone's income, like the federal system does.
Changing the law requires an amendment to the state constitution, which faces a tough road before lawmakers and would also have to be approved by voters in November 2014.
How would it affect your bottom line? No one knows. It's unclear what rates would be for which income brackets, so that adds to the confusion and debate. People arguing your state taxes would go down or up don't know that for sure yet.