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HomeIllinois News20 Things You Should Know about Pritzker's "Fair Tax" amendment

20 Things You Should Know about Pritzker’s “Fair Tax” amendment



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CHICAGO – Wirepoints’ new report lays out a set of 20 facts Illinoisans should know amid the complex and conflicting messaging appearing in ads across the state.

“All Illinoisans should know the facts regarding Illinois progressive tax,” says Ted Dabrowski, President of Wirepoints.

Some of the facts in Wirepoints’ report include:

  • No. 2. What Illinoisans are not voting on. Illinoisans are not voting on tax rates. The amendment does not ensure 97% of Illinoisans will pay the same or less in taxes. Nor does it limit lawmakers to raising taxes only on the wealthy. The progressive tax structure allows the state to impose higher rates on any income group.
  • No. 4. Without reforms, the proposed $3.1 billion progressive tax hike falls billions short of covering Illinois’ $10 billion structural deficit. The state’s structural deficit is made up of an annual budget shortfall of some $3-$4 billion, $1 billion needed annually to pay down the state’s unpaid bills, and $5 billion in missing actuarially-required retirement costs.

  • No. 5. Lawmakers will have to significantly raise rates on lower-income Illinoisans. If they don’t enact reforms, Illinois lawmakers will eventually be forced to address the state’s $10 billion structural deficit. A Wirepoints analysis of Illinois Department of Revenue tax data found that marginal progressive tax rates would jump to 9 percent and 11 percent on middle-income and wealthy Illinoisans, respectively.
  • No. 8. Illinois’ current flat income tax, after exemptions, is effectively progressive. Data from the Institute on Taxation on Economic Policy shows Illinoisans with the lowest incomes effectively pay 1.5 percent of their income in taxes. In contrast, the wealthiest taxpayers pay 4.1 percent
  • No. 12. The amendment allows for multiple income taxes. The constitution currently states that Illinois can impose only one income tax. The amendment strips that language from the constitution, giving state lawmakers the option to pass multiple taxes on Illinoisans’ income. That means, for example, that the state would be free to impose an additional income tax dedicated to pensions. Or the state could impose separate taxes on income from particular sources that politicians disfavor.
  • No. 13. Illinois is nearly surrounded by flat tax states. The majority of Illinois’ neighbors have a flat or nearly-flat tax structure. Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky all have a flat income tax like Illinois. And Missouri’s progressive tax structure is essentially flat, taxing all income above $8,424 at a rate of 5.4 percent.

“One thing entirely missing from the debate over the progressive tax is spending reforms,” says Ted. “Vote how you want on Nov. 3, but realize that Illinoisans should have been voting on a pension reform amendment – the constitutional change Illinois really needs.” 

Read “20 facts every Illinoisan should know about the progressive tax amendment” at: https://wirepoints.org/20-facts-every-illinoisan-should-know-about-the-progressive-tax-amendment-wirepoints-special-report/


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