I suggest that we look at the longer term and realize that the recent Illinois income tax rate increase is 65 percent, not 32 percent. Going into this decade, the rate had been 3 percent or lower since 1969. The recent increase essentially makes the 2011 – 2014 temporary 5 percent rate permanent. That it’s 4.95 percent rather than 5 percent is a gimmick.
As to the claims that this increase hits seniors unfairly, note that retirement income will still be tax exempt at the state level as far as I know. And I say that being old enough to draw Social Security.
As for those, including Mr. Pritzker, who’d like to make the state income tax rate progressive to boot, I suggest that they confuse income and wealth. Your income is your wealth when you’re young. I see a reform argument for a combined annual income and wealth tax (exempting retirement savings, small businesses, etc.) at both federal and state levels, but don’t just keep hiking income tax rates. That will chase the young and successful out of Illinois even faster than they’re leaving now. Let people build wealth first.
Tom Galvin, Swansea
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