CHICAGO (Illinois News Network) — Illinois’ Democratic candidates for governor were pressed Friday on how high they would raise taxes. Nearly all of them have said they would push for a graduated income tax, where people and businesses that make more money pay a higher rate.
The six candidates sat before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Friday morning, where they were questioned about how high they would make the rates.
J.B. Pritzker, billionaire and heir to the Hyatt hotel fortunes, wouldn’t commit.
“I haven’t put out a range,” he said. “What I’m suggesting is that we negotiate that with the legislature at the time based upon priorities.”
Chris Kennedy said the top rate of his ideal progressive tax shouldn’t be above six percent.
Southern Illinois candidate Bob Daiber has been the only one to reveal what rates he would like to see Illinoisans pay. His proposal would top out at 6 percent for businesses and individuals making over $1 million. This has been criticized by progressives, saying it wouldn’t raise the funds that they would want to increase state spending.
Perennial candidate Robert Marshall is the only one of the six not supportive of a progressive tax. He said the percentages the candidates say now don’t matter since changing it would only require the minimum legislative votes.
“It doesn’t really do any good to try and get the exact figures,” he said. “They’ll make it whatever they want.”
The candidates also offered solutions to Illinois’ shrinking population. Much of their ideas revolved around increasing spending on education, K-12 and public universities to better the state’s workforce.
Later in the panel discussion, the candidates criticized Pritzker and his involvement in wiretapped phone calls with now-imprisoned ex-governor Rod Blagojevich. Pritzker defended the now-infamous conversation as “public service.” Other candidates criticized him, calling him “unelectable” in a general election.
Written by Cole Lauterbach. Lauterbach reports on Illinois government and statewide issues for INN. Lauterbach has managed and produced shows for news/talk radio stations in both Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
The Center Square -- formerly known as Watchdog.org and the Illinois News Network -- and their reporters represent 18 states across the United States as the taxpayers' watchdog, exposing the way government really works.