Revenue director Harris promotes Pritzker’s progressive tax

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Former House Republican and current Director of the state’s Department of Revenue David Harris argued in favor of abolishing the flat tax provision enshrined in the state’s constitution during a recent interview on Capitol Connection.

“As a member of the governors administration, I am happy to talk about the initiatives that the Governor has, and I think the fair tax is obviously his key initiative, and I support it,” Harris said.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has spearheaded the effort to defeat the progressive tax ballot question from advancing in the legislature. One of his former ranking members said the hardline opposition from his party is bad for their constituents.

“We are going to get resistance from the Republicans, but I will tell you in areas where there are strong Republican representation, 98% of their constituents are not going to be affected,” Harris said. “As a matter of fact, they will be affected beneficially because they are going to see a decrease in their taxes.

“The bottom line is it is not easy to raise taxes.”

Republicans who favor the flat tax argue it unites the entire state and serves as a sort of unilateral protection against raising taxes on everyone at once. Some members have suggested that introducing a graduated rate structure with escalating taxes on higher earners, the state could easily adjust those rates to increase taxes on smaller portions of the population, an effort that could be undertaken without generating as much widespread opposition.

“I’m not convinced by that. I don’t believe that,” Harris responded. “It is going to be hard to raise taxes no matter what the tax structure is. It doesn’t happen often. I don’t buy the argument just because we go to a fair tax that it is easier to raise taxes. I don’t believe that.

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