SIU Poll: Will Voters Approve the Progressive Income Tax?

March 3, 2020 — From the Paul Simon Institute at SIU in Carbondale, we speak with Professor John Jackson on a poll the Institute conducted concerning the Governor’s proposed Progressive Income Tax. Illinois Voters Favor Graduated Income Tax, Wide Range of Reforms By a two-to-one margin, Illinois voters favor an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would allow for a graduated income tax, replacing the state’s flat income tax rate.

The poll of 1,000 registered voters was conducted between February 10 and 17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Graduated Income Tax. Two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said they favored a constitutional change “to allow a graduated income tax—that is, tax rates would be lower for lower-income taxpayers and higher for upper-income taxpayers.” S

upport was robust, with 44 percent strongly favoring and 21-percent somewhat favoring the proposal. About a third (32 percent) opposed the proposal, 24 percent strongly and 8 percent somewhat opposed. Support for the graduated income tax proposal reached majority levels in all three of the major geographic breakdowns in Illinois: 73 percent in favor in the City of Chicago, 68 percent favorable in the Chicago suburbs and 55 percent favorable downstate. Partisan differences were more stark with 83 percent of Democrats favoring the graduated tax system, compared with only half that level of support among Republicans (41 percent).

Roughly six in ten (59 percent) Independents favor the graduated tax. “Millionaire’s Tax” Similarly, 68 percent favored a so-called “millionaire’s tax,” a 3 percent tax on all income above $1 million a year, which was the subject of an advisory referendum in November of 2014, when it passed with 60 percent in favor. Half (51 percent) strongly favored the proposal, and another 17 percent were somewhat in favor. Three in ten respondents (30 percent) opposed the proposal, 22 percent strongly, and 8 percent only somewhat.

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