How often do graduated and flat rate states change their tax rates?

October 7, 2020

How often do graduated and flat rate states change their tax rates?

A proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution would allow for a graduated-rate income tax system. Until the November 2020 vote, the state Constitution only allows a flat-rate structure, meaning that all levels of personal income are taxed at the same rate. If voters approve the proposed amendment, a rate structure that has already been approved by the legislature and signed into law by the governor, will go into effect starting in January. 

Proponents of the amendment point out that under the preapproved rate structure, most Illinois taxpayers will see an income tax decrease. However, some opponents have voiced concerns that allowing the graduated income tax structure might make it politically palatable for lawmakers to increase tax rates more often in the future.

This report examines what other states have done in the recent past.


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Research Area: Fiscal Health of Illinois

Policy Initiative: none

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