Get Ready for Soft Sell on Progressive Income Tax

SOFT SELL Can Democrats push a progressive income tax constitutional amendment through the General Assembly this spring? They may try, but  look for a gentle nudge instead of a push. Republican Sen. Pam Althoff of McHenry and Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, talked taxes at a Reboot Illinois town hall meeting Tuesday in Woodstock. See their predictions for the Illinois income tax this year.

LOOK OUT Illinois has the fourth highest unemployment in the country and a terrible business climate. It'll only get worse if the state extends its 2011 tax increase or, worse, enacts a progressive tax system. So says The Tax Foundation in this extensive report. It's packed with charts and figures. We've got it and some political context here.

PROGRESSIVE POSSIBILITY Ever wondered how you'd fare under a progressive income tax? We've summed up one proposal in today's chart. No 3.75 percent tax bracket on this one.

RAUNER'S LEAD We knew Bruce Rauner would be a financial force in the Republican gubernatorial primary, but... Well, here's a chart of what the candidates raised in the final quarter of 2013. And here's a summary of news coverage of the latest campaign finance reports.

DAILY PENSION COST The state's broken pension system is still sucking up millions of your tax dollars each day. How much? Find out in this chart.

SOUND OFF A police chief retires, starts collecting a $100,000-a-year pension, then gets hired back as "director of security" -- same salary, new title. Lax and vague disclosure rules let politicians avoid revealing financial conflicts. Big corporations extort the state for big tax breaks by threatening to leave if they don't get them. If you're tired of any or all of these scenarios, now you can do something about them. Use our Sound Off tool to learn more about the issues and send a message to your lawmakers, Gov. Pat Quinn and the four leaders of the General Assembly. All in a few mouse clicks. It's fast, easy and effective. Choose and click an issue below to get started.


HEADLINES Here are the top news stories in Illinois today:

  • 5. House Republicans have vowed to vote against a graduated income tax. (Daily Herald)
    4. Following a series of negative headlines, Bruce Rauner is bringing in a new media adviser. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
    3. Opinion: Out of 274 potential contested legislative races in Illinois this year, there are only 32. (Chicago Tribune)
    2. Bill Brady’s campaign finances are low but optimism remains high. (Chicago Sun-Times)
    1. Early reports show Bruce Rauner and Dan Rutherford with a strong advantage in fundraising over Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard. (Chicago Sun-Times)

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