Illinois residents reject Fair Tax Amendment


James Pollard/The Daily Northwestern

A sign in support of the Fair Tax Amendment outside of an Evanston polling place. While results aren’t finalized, it appears the Fair Tax Amendment will not pass.

Delaney Nelson, Assistant City Editor

With 93 percent of votes counted, it appears the Illinois Fair Tax Amendment did not pass in the general election. Gov. J.B. Pritkzer’s ballot initiative garnered 45 percent support, falling short of the 60 percent threshold required to pass. Fifty-five percent of Illinois voters rejected the amendment.

The Fair Tax Amendment would have introduced a progressive income tax in the state, gradually increasing tax rates for those who make $250,000 and above. As an amendment to the Illinois Constitution, the referendum would require a supermajority to pass. There is still a chance the amendment could pass if numbers reach a simple majority of all votes cast.

Without the Fair Tax Amendment, the state would continue to mandate a flat tax, under which everyone pays the same income tax rate of 4.95 percent, regardless of income.

“We are encouraged by the Illinoisans who cast their ballots in support of the Fair Tax despite the onslaught of misinformation and lies from those who were desperate to defeat the amendment,” Quentin Fulks of the Vote Yes For Fairness campaign said in a statement. “Until every ballot is counted, we will stand with the Illinoisans who cast a ballot by mail, early and in-person today to ensure their voices are heard.”

On Election Day, Beth and Dan Tucker stood outside the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center polling location handing out flyers about the Fair Tax and encouraging residents to vote yes on the referendum. They said in light of the state’s financial troubles, this amendment provides at least some solution.

“It’s far from a perfect solution for our state’s fiscal problems, but it’s a start,” Dan Tucker said.

Supporters of the amendment argued that the change in the state’s income tax structure would allow for a more equitable way for the state to create revenue, while opponents said increasing taxes would drive people out of the state without fixing any of the state’s fiscal problems.

During a coronavirus briefing Tuesday, Pritkzer, who had poured millions into the ballot initiative, had expressed optimism that Fair Tax would pass.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @delaneygnelson

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