SPRINGFIELD — On Wednesday, the Illinois Senate approved a series of proposals designed to overhaul an outdated tax system and bring newfound stability to the state’s economy.
Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement:
“Year after year our state has gone from one crisis to the next. At the heart of it all is a nearly 50-year-old provision in our constitution that simply no longer reflects our modern economy. Today, we took an overdue first step toward giving voters the power to change it.”
“We can’t grow as a state until we own up to our obligations, pay our debts and invest in the services and institutions that have long made Illinois a national leader. The Fair Tax plan we approved today would finally allow Illinois to do all of those things. I hope it is swiftly approved by the Illinois House so we can get it before voters next year.”
The Senate approved four separate proposals on Wednesday.
SJRCA 1 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate the flat tax mandate in the Illinois Constitution. If the House approves it, that amendment would then go to voters for approval next year.
SB 687 is a corresponding “Fair Tax” proposal that contains tax brackets and rates. The rates apply to taxable income, which is the income declared after all deductions and credits are claimed. As approved by the Senate, 97 percent of Illinois taxpayers would see no change, or possibly a tax cut.
SB 689 abolishes the so-called “death tax” on estate inheritance. This has increasingly been an issue in agriculture communities across Illinois.
SB 690 stops local school boards from increasing property tax rates so long as the state meets its obligations to increase funding for public education and fully reimburses schools for transportation, special education and other required services and programs.
All four proposals now advance to the Illinois House.