Categories: BusinessFinance

Billionaire hedge funder counters Illinois tax hike plans

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Billionaires opposed the Illinois tax hike proposal for wealthy people, accusing it as a disguise to “extract the greatest amount of money possible.”

Illinois, similarly with other states, is now moving to push a new tax hike plans that would place higher tax rates to uber-rich people. However, several billionaires including the hedge-funder Ken Griffin has called out the proposal saying that, without tackling the state’s deeper problems, the tax hike will eventually affect all taxpayers in Illinois.

Per the proposed graduated-rate income tax, tax rates will vary depending on the taxpayer’s earning level. In other words, those who earn more would have to pay higher tax rates.

For instance, as proposed by democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker, those who earn more than US$1 million would be given a 7.99% tax rate. Those who earn over $250, 000—who also are part of the top 3 earners in the state—will be given a higher tax rate as well.

On the flip side, those who are earning less than $250, 000 would receive tax cuts instead.

Griffin donates $20 million to halt tax hike plans

For billionaires like Griffin, the said plan appears to be a potential threat for high earners like him. So as an effort to stop Illinois’ tax hike plans, the CEO and founder of Citadel has donated $20 million to a campaign against the said ballot measure.

The billionaire also argued that his action is not unilateral and that he is acting based on the state’s collective interest. Griffin joins other uber-wealthy folks including real estate investor Sam Zell and MacNeil Automotive Products of Bolingbrook.

Governor Pritzker who is also a billionaire, on the other hand, gave more than $56 million to a campaign that supports the tax hike plan.

“Fair tax” as a disguise

Griffin also accused the proposal—which is promoted as a “fair tax”— as a disguise to extract more money from taxpayers in the state.

“It’s time the Governor and Illinois legislature stop taking advantage of constituents and wasting hard-earned taxpayer dollars. It’s time for the Governor and the legislature to focus on spending our money wisely to provide for better schools, better public safety, better infrastructure, and greater opportunities for all our citizens,” Griffin said, per CNBC.

But under the proposed tax increase, the billionaire hedge-funder would face costly tax payment. Last year, Griffin earned $1.5 billion. He also bought the most expensive home in the U.S. about five years ago.

The additional income the state would earn from the increased tax rate is projected to reach an estimated $3 billion annually as well, which Pritzker argued could help prevent widespread unemployment and budget cuts due to the pandemic.

Featured image courtesy of Citadel/YouTube Screenshot

Kari Astillero

Kari Astillero is a freelance digital content writer by profession and a poet by heart. She works at home trying to guard her solitude from the city's noise.

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Kari Astillero

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