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What you need to know about a Fair Tax - and who supports it

2/01/2019
The idea of a Fair Tax system in Illinois is continuing to gain traction. Governor JB Pritzker - and 72 percent of Illinoisans - support a progressive tax, but an amendment to the Illinois Constitution will be required to enact it.



Here are the most important things you need to know:


A Fair Tax could provide a tax cut to 98 percent of Illinois taxpayers.
Illinois’ flat tax unduly burdens middle-class and working families by forcing them to pay a higher percentage of their income on local and state taxes than wealthy taxpayers and big corporations.
 
Eliminating the flat tax in our state would raise about $1.9 billion for public education and state services and give more than 98 percent of Illinoisans a tax cut by asking the wealthy to pay their fair share.

Illinois’ income tax structure is poorly designed and unsustainable.
Illinois is one of only eight states with a flat income tax and one of just four states that constitutionally requires a flat income tax. The federal government and 33 states, including Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, have a Fair Tax structure. This structure ensures that people pay a graduated, or progressive, rate based on their income.

For the past several decades, virtually all income growth has been at the highest income levels. Our flat tax does not capture that growth, but a Fair Tax would.

A Fair Tax would help schools, universities, and public services.
To adequately fund education and state services, our state needs to reform our income tax system. By asking the wealthiest Illinoisans to pay higher tax rates than lower- and middle-income families, a Fair Tax could raise nearly $2 billion in revenue each year for schools and services while providing a tax cut for nearly every Illinois taxpayer.

Illinoisans want a Fair Tax.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, 72 percent of Illinoisans support amending the constitution to allow a Fair Tax. This includes 51 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of downstate residents, and 66 percent of people earning more than $100,000 per year.

Unsurprisingly, former Governor Rauner opposed a Fair Tax, falsely claiming it would drive businesses out of Illinois and raise taxes on the middle class. In truth, he and his wealthy friends are content to let working families carry our state’s burdens to avoid paying their fair share.

We must find a long-term solution to our state’s fiscal problems. That's why the IFT is committed to helping to pass a Fair Tax that ensures stability and gets Illinois' financial house in order.

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