Tax amendment fails in Illinois, provides no budget relief

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A woman walks past a pro Fair Tax yard sign near a polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Chicago. Voters have rejected the Fair Tax proposal to abolish Illinois’ flat-rate income tax for one that would take a greater share from wealthier taxpayers. The outcome of Tuesday’s Nov. 3, vote handed Illinois Gov. Pritzker the first major defeat of his 22-month tenure. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Voters have rejected a proposal to abolish Illinois’ flat-rate income tax for one that would take a greater share from wealthier taxpayers.

It was Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top priority to abolish the flat-rate tax and increase tax rates on those who earn more than $250,000. Pritzker said it would generate an extra $3 billion a year to pay down debt.

Opponents contended that Pritzker and fellow Democrats who control the General Assembly would use the money for new programs.

Pritzker warned that defeat of the amendment would mean a general increase of the flat rate, spending cuts or more.

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