Fair Tax Amendment

The State of Illinois’ structural deficit has been building over decades. Historically, we have had one of the lowest state income tax rates in the nation, which has forced overreliance on other revenue sources – most problematically, the property tax, which has been used to make up the gap between the state’s education funding and the actual cost of providing excellent public schools. As a result, we have huge educational disparities between wealthy and impoverished communities.

The graduated income tax (the Fair Tax) will increase state revenues by asking people in the highest income brackets to pay more while keeping taxes flat – or even reducing the income tax burden – for 97% of the people living in Illinois. As it stands, our tax structure is extremely regressive; the top 1% of Illinoisans pay approximately 7% of their income in state and local taxes. For middle and lower-income families, the tax bite is almost twice as high; on average, they wind up paying about around 13% of their income in state and local taxes.

It is absolutely unfair to make fast food workers pay the same percentage of their wages in income tax that billionaires do. I understand that none of us want to pay more in taxes, but the Governor’s graduated tax plan will generate additional revenue to fund our schools and lower the property tax burden, and it will help us to address that structural budget deficit and put Illinois on a path toward real fiscal sustainability.