State Sen. Don Harmon’s progressive tax plan would hurt middle-class Illinoisans

Lawmakers and special-interest groups across Illinois are trying to dupe Illinoisans into paying higher income taxes. They’re trying to convince Illinoisans that a progressive income tax hike is only a tax hike on the rich. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Need proof? Look at the most recent progressive tax hike proposal.

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Under Illinois law, the individual income tax rate will be 3.75 percent in 2015. Under the progressive tax-hike plan introduced by state Senator Don Harmon – and endorsed by A Better Illinois – a higher 4.9 percent applies to income earned after $12,500.

Under Harmon’s proposal, anyone with a taxable income of more than $22,000 will see their overall state tax bill increase. That plan targets Illinois’ working- and middle-class residents.

It’s no surprise that Harmon’s progressive tax-hike proposal targets the middle class – it’s how progressive income taxes work. That’s where a lot of the money is.

Just look at where the top progressive tax rates, which are supposed to “make the rich pay their fair share,” start in other states.

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So don’t be fooled when lawmakers say a progressive income tax is only a tax on the rich. The proposed rates in Illinois make it clear that lawmakers are gearing up to raise tax rates on Illinois’ working- and middle-class residents.

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Benjamin VanMetre | Senior Budget + Tax Policy Analyst