The Latest on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

A leading Illinois business advocate says Gov. J.B. Pritzker has it “backward” in trying to solve the state’s fiscal crisis with a graduated income tax plan.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan, flanked by deputy governors David Harris, left, Christian Mitchell and Dan Hynes, during a press conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan, flanked by deputy governors David Harris, left, Christian Mitchell and Dan Hynes, during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

Todd Maisch (MYSH’) is president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. He says Pritzker’s plan to raise $3.4 billion in new revenue from a progressive tax structure will drive out businesses. Pritzker campaigned on ridding the state of its flat-rate structure and on Thursday proposed rates ranging from 4.75 percent to 7.95 percent, depending on income.

Maisch says the Democratic governor and state lawmakers should get spending under control first, then help the economy grow, then turn to revenue. He says the budget Pritzker proposed last month has unnecessary spending and that businesses are reeling from the phased-in $15 minimum wage Pritzker signed last month.

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan during a press conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

3:20 p.m.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the most important thing about his proposed graduated income tax structure is its ability to stabilize state finances.

The Democrat on Thursday proposed eliminating the flat 4.95 percent rate with rates ranging from 4.75 percent to 7.95 percent, depending on income. He says it would generate $3.4 billion in new revenue to eliminate an ongoing deficit and pay debts associated with billions of dollars in overdue bills.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan during a press conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

But he trumpets the contention that 97 percent of Illinoisans would pay less in income taxes. That’s because anyone making $250,000 or less would pay at most a marginal rate equal to the current 4.95 percent. That would mean a savings of $271 a year for a single parent making $60,000.

Republicans fear the new revenue will go toward Democrats’ pet projects, and not fiscal discipline. Pritzker says he is “committed to stabilizing this budget.”

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan during a press conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

1:25 p.m.

Republican opposition to the graduated tax plan Gov. J.B. Pritzker is floating has been swift.

The Democratic governor announced Thursday a plan to change Illinois’ 4.95 percent flat-rate tax structure to one that ranges from 4.75 to 7.95 percent . He claims it would raise $3.4 billion extra a year while the vast majority of taxpayers would pay less in taxes.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan, flanked by deputy governors David Harris, left, Christian Mitchell and Dan Hynes, during a press conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveils his graduated income tax plan, flanked by deputy governors David Harris, left, Christian Mitchell and Dan Hynes, during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs said in a statement that his GOP caucus “stands united in opposition to a $3.4 billion tax increase on Illinois families and businesses.”

The flat-rate system is required by the state Constitution. Pritzker’s plan would need approval by 3/5 of the General Assembly before the idea would be put to voters, probably in November 2020.

Republican Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills says the Constitution would not set rates. A future governor could raise them.

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12:55 p.m.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is rolling out a proposed graduated income tax structure that would start at 4.75 percent and top out at 7.95 percent for those making more than $1 million.

The Democrat says the plan — his key campaign pledge — would generate an additional $3.4 billion a year. He says 97 percent of Illinois taxpayers would see a tax decrease.

Pritzker planned to discuss details Thursday afternoon at the Capitol.

Illinois has a flat-rate individual income tax of 4.95 percent. The 7 percent corporate rate would go to 7.95 percent.

Incomes of $100,000 to $250,000 would pay the current rate of 4.95 percent. The plan includes child tax credits and increased property tax credits.

The plan needs legislative approval before voters would decide on changing the state Constitution.

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