State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, a Champaign Democrat, let the cat out of the bag this past summer when he told a Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce audience that a progressive income tax would “make it clear you can have graduated rates when you are taxing retirement income.”
“I think that’s something that’s worth discussion,” Frerichs told his audience.
Truer words have ever been spoken, but a more impolitic statement has never been uttered.
That’s why Frerichs is in hot water with the governor while amendment proponents are falling all over themselves to deny that it has any direct impact on the issue of taxing retirement income.
They are absolutely right. The amendment, if passed, would allow legislators to impose multiple escalating tax rates on various categories of income earners instead of the current single 4.95 percent flat rate on everyone.
The amendment does not address the related issue of specific tax rates and specific types of income that would be taxed. That authority to address those issues would fall within the sole purview of Pritzker and members of the General Assembly.