FILE - IL Gov J.B. Pritzker – Progressive Income Tax

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker

(The Center Square) – A chorus of progressive tax opponents called on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to pull the progressive tax proposal from the ballot this November amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Low voter turnout during the state’s primary election on Tuesday has been blamed on concerns over the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged in late 2019.

As businesses struggle statewide, Illinois Business Alliance President Jared Carl said Pritzker should back off his push to change Illinois’ Constitution to allow for a graduated income tax that would require higher earners to pay higher income tax rates.

“The only way that we’re going to get through the economic part of this crisis is by creating an environment in which businesses can create jobs,” Carl said. “Pritzker’s so-called Fair Tax does not help in that regard. It punishes business owners.”

Pritzker responded Thursday.

“This is not a time for politics,” he said. “We have too much to do to save people’s lives.” 

Carl said the state's Constitution allows for lawmakers to vote on withdrawing the ballot measure. 

Cut Illinois Taxes Now also asked Pritzker to work to have the question pulled.

Others have criticized the notion of using the COVID-19 pandemic for political purposes.

“Pro tip: Using the COVID-19 crisis to score political points is a really bad look,” Democratic political consultant Becky Carroll said in response to a tweet about how Pritzker should have the ballot initiative removed.

Staff Reporter

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.