THE BLOG
08/06/2014 01:53 pm ET Updated Oct 06, 2014

How Does Illinois' Income Tax Compare to the Rest of the Country?

The Illinois income tax has been a topic of hot debate in the 2014 governor's race. Currently, Illinoisans must give 5 percent of their income to the state government. That rate is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, when it would fall to 3.75 percent. Some members of the General Assembly have expressed support for continuing the 5 percent rate into 2015 to help the state pay off debts. Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn has led the charge. His opponent, Republican nominee Bruce Rauner, has said he would work to move the income tax to a flat 3 percent by the end of his four-year term.

The 1970 Illinois constitution says Illinois' state income tax must be flat, with just one rate for all taxpayers.

Nine other states also have a flat-rate income tax. There are 33 states that use a graduated income tax system--people pay a certain percentage depending on how much they make. Seven states don't have an income tax at all. Check out our chart at Reboot Illinois to see which state has which income tax plan.

Politicians are likely to take up the income tax system again after the election in January. The lawmakers have a new watchdog in the form of newly appointed, interim Inspector General J. William Roberts. His job is to investigate complaints of misconduct about lawmakers.The IG is supposed to be impartial himself, but the Better Government Association has found that Roberts may have connections to those he is meant to be overseeing.

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