SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Backers of a plan to change Illinois' income tax structure say they've collected more than 150,000 signatures from supporters.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that members of the group A Better Illinois say they hope to keep collecting signatures on their petition through the spring. They want to convince lawmakers to put a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot. The amendment would allow the state to adopt a graduated or "progressive" tax.
Under a graduated tax, higher earners pay a larger percentage of their income than middle and lower-class taxpayers. It's similar to the federal income tax structure.
Illinois' Constitution currently requires a flat income tax. Changing it would require a three-fifths vote in the Legislature and approval by voters.
The taxman is back today for those of you who filed an extension with the IRS in April.
Today is the deadline to file those returns. October filers won't be seeing their returns immediately, the IRS says it will not issue refunds until the government shutdown is over. More than 90 percent of IRS workers are currently furloughed.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Republicans in the Missouri House say a veto override appears likely for a high-profile gun bill, but the odds remain uncertain for a tax-cutting measure after a meeting of GOP lawmakers.
House Republicans who attended a private weekend caucus said Monday that there was a lot of discussion about the income tax cut vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. T.J. Berry of Kearney, says he feels more optimistic about the prospects of an override. But the meeting may not have changed too many minds. Rep. Don Phillips, of Kimberling City, says he still plans to vote "no."
Rep. Doug Funderburk, of St. Peters, says his bill attempting to nullify some federal gun-control laws received little Republican opposition and appears poised for a veto override.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have reduced Missouri's income tax rates for the first time in more than 90 years.
The legislation vetoed Wednesday had been touted by the Republican-led Legislature as a way to keep Missouri economically competitive with neighbors such as Kansas and Oklahoma that have cut taxes.
But Nixon cited concern about an apparent mistake in the legislation that would have repealed an existing sales tax exemption on prescription medicine. The Democratic governor also has raised concern that the lost income tax revenues could hurt funding for education and mental health services.
The bill would have gradually reduced corporate and individual income tax rates while also creating a new deduction for business income reported on individual income taxes.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has indicated that he's likely to veto legislation that would cut Missouri income taxes for businesses and individuals.
Nixon said Friday that he has "serious concerns" about the income cut passed a day earlier by the Legislature. He called it fiscally irresponsible and said it could jeopardize funding for higher education, prisons and other government services.
The tax cut was a priority of the Republican-led Legislature and is meant to counteract recent income tax reductions in Kansas.
The Democratic governor estimated that it could eventually drain more than $800 million annually from state revenues.
The measure would essentially cut the income tax in half for businesses and reduce the top tax rate for individuals from 6 percent to 5.5 percent over the next decade.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon says he remains opposed to a bill that would raise the state sales tax while cutting income taxes for individuals and businesses.
Nixon released a statement Thursday saying that a sales tax increase would shift the tax burden to seniors and veterans on fixed incomes. He said it "is not the right approach to growing our economy or creating jobs."
His reaction comes after the House passed a bill Wednesday that would gradually cut the individual income tax by two-thirds of a percentage point over five years while also reducing business taxes.
To offset part of the lost revenue, the bill would gradually raise the sales tax by three-fifths of a cent.
Nixon also had opposed an earlier version of the bill passed by the Senate
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says there's nothing wrong with waiting until the last minute to file tax returns. The Chicago Democrat admitted to reporters yesterday that in the past he's been guilty of coming right up against the deadline.
Monday is that deadline -- the final day for Americans to file their 2012 tax returns.
Quinn says it's no fun to pay taxes, but it's the price of living in a democracy.
The governor has released his tax returns in years past and he said yesterday that he plans to do so again soon.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An organization that analyzes Missouri financial issues has begun running a radio ad against legislation that would cut state income taxes while raising the sales tax.
The Missouri Budget Project said Tuesday that this marks the first time in its 10-year history that the St. Louis-based nonprofit has paid for ads against a policy proposal.
The ad targets legislation scheduled for a House committee hearing Tuesday that would cut income taxes by three-quarters of a percentage point while increasing the sales tax by a half cent. The bill already has passed the Senate.
The Budget Project claims the measure could reduce state revenues by $960 million annually once fully implemented. Other legislative estimates have put the cost at almost half that amount.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Two southwestern Illinois women have been ordered to spend at least two years in federal prison and repay more than $54,000 each for their roles in an income tax scheme.
A judge in East St. Louis sentenced 39-year-old Angenita Smith of Alton to 24 months in prison. Thirty-seven-year-old Tammy Smith of Alton was sentenced to 26 months behind bars. It isn't immediately clear if the women are related.
The Smiths pleaded guilty last October. Prosecutors say they falsely prepared W-2 tax forms and provided them to relatives and friends to enable them to get refunds by filing bogus federal income-tax returns.
The U.S. government says the Smiths lied to investigators, resulting in an increase in their prison sentences.