DuPage County to hold public hearing about graduated income tax

Published: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 12:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 12:19 p.m. CDT

The DuPage County Economic Development Committee will host a public hearing on one of this election season's most controversial topics: allowing the graduated income tax in Illinois.

The committee will be led by county board member and committee Chair Tonia Khouri, according to a news release from the county.

The subject of the hearing, state constitutional amendments HJRCA 33 and SJRCA 40, would remove a provision that specifies income taxes must be flat, according to the Illinois General Assembly's website. Such a change could open the door for future discussions about a progressive income tax, which would set higher rates for the wealthy and lower rates for those with less income.

The discussion comes as a 2011 state income tax hike is set to expire in 2015, potentially lowering taxes from 5 to 3.85 percent percent for individuals and 7 to 5.25 percent percent for corporations, the release said. While there is some debate as to whether the General Assembly should let it expire when the state is mired in debt, the expiration has generated discussion of alternate revenue streams.

Presenters will include Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability Ralph Martire and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Doug Whitley, according to the release.

"The Economic Development Committee's mission is to ensure DuPage County maintains a business-friendly environment in order to grow our local economy," Khouri said in the release. "While the graduated income tax proposal is a state issue, it will have a significant impact on our residents and small business owners. It is extremely important that we learn the facts regarding the issue."

The public hearing will take place at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the County Board Room at the DuPage Center Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton.

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