Il GOP wants voters to decide whether 5% income tax rate remains

May 20, 2014

The question of whether to extend Illinois' temporary income tax increase has dominated the spring legislative session. Tuesday, Republicans are saying the question ought to be put to voters this fall. 

Illinois voters will face a long list of referenda on the November ballot: on voting rights and crime victims rights, and possibly the minimum wage, term limits for lawmakers and legislative district map-making.Given all that, Republican Rep. Ron Sandack, from Downers Grove, says we might as well also ask voters about whether Illinois' 5-percent income tax rate ought to be extended.

"If we're going to prioritize things, and we have a whole host of issues, a litany of issues, that the folks in charge want to put to the people, how about we put the most important issue to them, too, while we're at it."

The tax rate is scheduled to drop by more than a percentage point at the end of the year. Gov. Pat Quinn says letting that happen would result in huge cuts to education and other state services. And yet, he's not been able to convince enough House Democrats to go along.

Republicans acknowledge their push for a tax referendum faces a rough road in a legislature controlled by Democrats.