So, what's the story on the "Fair Tax" and changing the Illinois constitution to allow the Democrat-controlled General Assembly to determine the state income tax schedule?
We looked to the dependable and wise financial brains at Wirepoints.org for their opinion on the issue. Here's what we found:
Here’s the central, misleading claim constantly made about the ‘Fair Tax’ proposal
Illinois is now being inundated with ads, social media and op-eds urging a "yes" vote for the Fair Tax by making the following claim over and over again:
“If Illinois passes the Fair Tax, 97% of Illinoisans will pay the same or less in taxes. Only people making above $250,000 will pay more.”
No. There is nothing about rates in what you will vote on. The ballot initiative only asks whether the Illinois General Assembly and governor should get unrestricted authority to set different rates for different income groups. The amendment sets no rates whatsoever.
Decide what you want about the “Fair Tax” ballot initiative in November’s election, but is it too much to ask for an honest debate?
Springfield has already set what would be the initial rates at the levels claimed above, but if Illinois votes yes, Springfield would be free to change those rates on day one and as often as it wants, for as many different income groups as it wants.
One example of the deceitful ads is linked here. It’s being run by the Vote Yes For Fairness committee, into which Gov. J.B. Pritzker has already poured over $56 million. Similar claims are appearing constantly.
It’s particularly maddening to see the deceitful claim made in a mailing sent by the state itself, at taxpayer expense, apparently to all voters, from the Secretary of State. It contains arguments for and against the proposal including a rebuttal about the rates, but the arguments in favor repeat the misleading claim twice. The relevant pages are linked here.
Wirepoints will continue to publish both sides of the debate, but make no mistake: A yes vote would not assure the rates being claimed.
Read more about some of the claims "Fair Tax" proponents make: