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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 gaining 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.



In March, Governor Pritzker released details of his Fair Tax proposal. Here are the most important things you need to know:


A Fair Tax could provide some tax relief for 97.3 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. A Fair Tax would ensure that they pay their fair share.
 
Under the governor's proposal, eliminating the flat tax in our state would raise about $3.4 billion a year for public education and state services, while giving the vast majority of Illinoisans a tax cut. Only those who earn more than $250,000 per year would see any tax increase, and millionaire's would be hit the hardest.

In addition, the proposed Fair Tax would provide nearly all homeowners with a 20 percent property tax credit and create a $100 per child tax credit for lower- and middle-income earners.

Illinois’ income tax structure is poorly designed and unsustainable.
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 structure ensures that people pay a graduated, or progressive, rate based on their income.

The federal government and 33 states have a Fair Tax structure. Under Pritzker's proposed plan, Illinois earners would pay less in taxes than they would in neighboring states like Iowa and Wisconsin.

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 $3.4 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 2018 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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