Did Illinois Lawmakers Propose a ‘Departing Taxpayer Fee’?

Let's hope this is an idea that doesn't catch on.

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Exterior shot of Illinois State Capitol building
Image via Shutterstock


Illinois governor-elect J.B. Pritzker and two other Democratic state legislators proposed a "departing taxpayer fee."



In early December 2018, Facebook users circulated a post stating that newly-elected Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, along with fellow Democratic state lawmakers, had proposed assessing a rather unusual fee against residents who moved out of the state — a “departing taxpayer fee”:

We reached out to Jordan Abudayyeh, Pritzker’s spokeswoman, who confirmed that the contents of post circulating on Facebook were “absolutely not true” and appeared to be nothing more than a hoax or an unflagged attempt at satire.

Prtizker, a billionaire and Hyatt hotel heir, won the Illinois gubernatorial race on 6 November 2018 by a wide margin over Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner. Pritzker and his Democratic colleagues supported replacing the state’s flat income tax with a progressive income tax, which would mean higher rates for wealthier Illinoisans with tax breaks for others. However, we found no evidence to suggest Pritzker had ever floated charging residents a special tax assessment for moving out of the state, and it’s unlikely any such plan could be legally implemented.

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Pyke, Marni.   “How Would a Graduated Income Tax Work in Illinois? Here’s How Three Nearby States Do It.”
    Daily Herald.   2 November 2018.

Vinicky, Amanda.   “Gov.-Elect J.B. Pritzker Backs Off Temporary Tax Plan.”
    WTTW.   7 November 2018.

Finke, Doug.   “Pritzker Suggests Tax Help for Small Businesses to Cope With Minimum Wage.”
    The State Journal Register.   10 December 2018.