Even before the COVID-19 crisis, Illinois had a lot of bills to pay, and our current tax structure was hurting more than helping. Now our state is facing a staggering $10 billion deficit because of the pandemic.
As a result of COVID-19 related job losses, more than 1 million Illinoisans filed for unemployment benefits by early May, and countless others have suffered income loss from furloughs or reduced work hours. Others still fear layoffs and financial instability in these uncertain times.
All the while across our state, working people continue to suffer under Illinois’ unfair, inadequate tax system, paying twice as much as the wealthy as a share of their income at a time when they can least afford it.
A Fair Tax would help.
In the November election, Illinois residents will be asked to decide whether or not to enact a Fair Tax. This progressive way of taxing income asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share. It’s the same kind of tax that 34 other states – including our neighbors in Missouri and Wisconsin – and the federal government already use. It’s time for Illinois to do the same.
The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced our need for a new tax structure that is fair to the middle class and ensures state and local governments have the resources they need to serve communities and fund public schools and services. That includes resources for our state’s under-resourced black and brown communities.
The pandemic has shed a bright light on the racial inequities that already plague our communities: many of llinois’ black and brown residents who work in frontline jobs and risk greater exposure to the virus. They also disproportionately live in multi-generational households with less ability to physically distance when sick, suffer more than other groups from health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, and have less access to healthcare.
A Fair Tax would help address these inequities by providing critically-needed resources to communities in greatest need.
No matter the color of your skin or where you live in Illinois, the issues at stake impact us ALL. The current crisis has made it more important than ever that we fund essential priorities like education, public health, public safety, and social services – areas that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
Now more than ever, we need a Fair Tax. Please vote YES for fairness on November 3.
A Fair Tax would:
Make the wealthy pay their fair share
Ensure 97 percent of Illinoisans see their taxes cut or remain the same – only earners making $250,000 or more per year would pay more
Lift the burden off lower- and middle-income Illinoisans
Generate additional revenue to fund our schools and state services
Fix Illinois’ structural budget deficit