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Last week, state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, presented a progressive tax plan that he said would bring in nearly $2 billion more to help pay for social services. The lawmaker said his plan would mean a cut for 99 percent of taxpayers.
Most Republicans oppose such proposals, saying they prefer Illinois' flat tax, which is now 3.75 percent.
She said this week that a progressive income tax opens the door for Chicago Democrats "to take more money."
"It will be initially debated as a tax on the 1 percent, but it will allow elected officials to tax at every different salary level. It provides for easy revenue," she said.
Rep. Andy Skoog, D-La Salle, didn't return several messages for comment on Lang's proposal.
Ralph Martire, executive director of the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said in an interview that he generally supported a progressive income tax.
Since 1980, Martire said, the top 10 percent of income earners have enjoyed most of the growth in income, while the remaining 90 percent have seen their incomes decline, adjusting for inflation.
"For a fair system, you have to focus your taxes on those with growing incomes," he said. "That doesn't create as much of a burden as you would on those with flat or declining income over time."