Website helps calculate how much you'll pay in Pritzker's tax plan

  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Tuesday in Chicago about his proposed graduated income tax plan that would end the state's flat tax if approved.

      Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Tuesday in Chicago about his proposed graduated income tax plan that would end the state's flat tax if approved. Marni Pyke | Staff Photographer

 
 

How much will Gov. J.B. Pritzker's proposed graduated income tax cost or save you?

State officials released a way to tally that up Tuesday with an online tax calculator available at www2.illinois.gov/sites/gov/fairtax/Pages/default.aspx.

The plan would replace Illinois' flat tax of 4.95 percent with one that has six income brackets. Pritzker contends that residents earning up to $250,000 would pay the same or less, while the very wealthy would contribute more.

"People like me should pay more and people like you should pay less," said Pritzker, a Hyatt hotel heir.

Republicans panned the idea as a tax hike within minutes of Pritzker announcing the brackets on Thursday. On Tuesday, the Democratic governor said he met with bond rating agencies to discuss the plan. Currently, Illinois' bond rating is teetering on the edge of junk status because of pension obligations and debt.

"I think it went well," Pritzker said of the meeting. "They too agree we need revenue in the state in order to meet our obligations."

The governor's office estimates the change would generate about $3.4 billion. The lowest bracket is 4.75 percent for earnings up to $10,000, the highest -- for incomes of more than $1 million -- is 7.95 percent.

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Critics have suggested the state should consider taxing retirement income or services before shaking up the status quo.

Pritzker has dismissed touching retirement income and when asked about taxing services, he said "those are flat taxes -- everybody gets taxed at the same rate when services are provided. Flat taxes are regressive."

A number of suburban Republicans say they believe adding multiple income tax brackets will lead to additional tax increases in the future.

"The fact is I'm being responsible, I'm putting forward a tax system that's right and fair for the middle-class taxpayer. Democracy is what ultimately is the moderator on any proposal," Pritzker said.

But Republican Sen. Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods said, "there is nothing in this proposal that would protect taxpayers, especially middle-class families, from future tax increases after the new structure goes into effect."

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