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updated: 4/3/2014 4:37 PM

Graduated tax moves forward, but faces hurdles

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  • Don Harmon

      Don Harmon

By Zachary White

SPRINGFIELD -- State Sen. Don Harmon has not given up on his graduated tax proposal to move Illinois away from taxing everyone's income at the same rate.

A similar plan was rejected by a House committee last week, perhaps sending a message that lawmakers there don't think the plan, which would tax income over $180,000 at 6.9 percent, had a future there.

But Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, tried to send a message back to the House Thursday by winning approval from a Senate subcommittee by a 2-1 vote, giving it a chance to be heard by a full committee.

"I don't think it's about haves and have nots, I think it's about fairness," Harmon said. "This is a fundamental issue of equity."

Republicans, though, continue to argue that raising taxes on wealthy people could be bad for the state's business climate.

"I think in the end it actually has the potential to harm economic opportunity," state Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican, said.

Democrats in the Illinois House have so far showed a preference for a proposal from House Speaker Michael Madigan that would add a 3 percent tax to incomes more than $1 million.

If either are approved by lawmakers, voters would have the final say in November.

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