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Illinois amendment to allow graduated income tax soundly defeated

Opponents to ballot measure mount a 55-45% win over the amendment. Governor J.B. Prtizker: "There will be cuts"

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — A constitutional amendment to allow the Illinois state legislature to implement a graduated income tax on Tuesday was soundly defeated. 

Falling by a margin of 55-45%, it was the linchpin to fund Governor J.B. Pritzker's proposed spending and efforts to balance the Illinois budget.

"There will be cuts, and they will be painful. And the worst thing is, the same billionaires who lied to you about the fair tax, are more than happy to hurt our public schools, shake the foundations of our cities, and diminish our state," Pritzker said. "Maybe because they think it won’t hurt them."

The "Coalition to Stop the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment" was among the organizations spearheading the opposition.

"They were asking us to trust Springfield politicians," said spokesperson Lissa Druss. "And the vote shows one thing, it sends a very strong message – that people across the state do not want more taxes. And don't trust Springfield with a blank check."

Rock Island County GOP Chairman Drue Mielke said he welcomed the result. 

"We dodged a bullet, because how many times has the state raised taxes saying, ‘Oh we’re going to pay down the debt,’" Mielke said. "No, they actually increase their spending."

State Representative Mike Halpin, a democrat who won re-election Tuesday, said in a statement that he was disappointed by the failure of the proposal.

“With its failure, I feel that either service cuts or additional revenue will be borne by those least able to afford them, while millionaires and billionaires who funded the opposition laugh all the way to the bank about how they got middle class Illinoisans to vote to keep themselves struggling," Halpin said. 

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