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Resolution No. 9 - Fair and Adequate Revenue Collection for Illinois

FAIR AND ADEQUATE REVENUE COLLECTION FOR ILLINOIS
Submitted by: IFT Executive Board

WHEREAS, Illinois’ economic output is the 5th largest among the states in the Union, while the State’s investment in critical public services ranks 42nd in the nation; and

WHEREAS, for decades Illinois has, and continues to, rank dead last in state investment in K-12 education, contributing only about 30 percent of total dollars associated with education spending; and

WHEREAS, Illinois state investment in higher education has dramatically decreased with colleges and universities experiencing funding levels comparable to 1998, and nationally a student loan debt crisis that surpassed the $1 trillion in 2012; and

WHEREAS, at 102 workers for each 10,000 residents, Illinois ranks 49th in the nation among states with the fewest number of state employees per capita; and

WHEREAS, data from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability reveals that, over the past three decades, inflation-adjusted real wages for most Illinois workers has declined, while at the same time the upper 10 percent of income earners have experienced a dramatic 23.3 percent increase; and

WHEREAS, Illinois’ decades-old system of revenue collection is antiquated and insufficient in maintaining reasoned growth with changes in the economy; and

WHEREAS, because of the State’s outdated revenue system, a substantially larger tax burden is placed on low- and middle-income Illinois workers and their families; and

WHEREAS, of the 41 states with an individual income tax, all but seven – including Illinois – have in place a modernized, graduated rate structure that relies on a worker’s ability to pay; and

WHEREAS, every neighboring state of Illinois has in place revenue collection systems which include taxation on various services; and

WHEREAS, one of the State’s largest and most profitable industries includes financial and commodities trading services, resulting in billions of untaxed transactions annually; and

WHEREAS, in the interest of increased profits, many of Illinois’ large corporate businesses have negotiated special revenue sucking tax deals not afforded to small independent businesses, resulting in both the removal of hundreds of billions of dollars from public investment and higher local tax rates to make up for the loss; and

WHEREAS, Illinois’ flawed tax system drives deficit growth; and

WHEREAS, a tax system should be sound and stable to fund a modern economy, should be fair to tax payers such that the tax burden should be assessed in a manner that corresponds to a taxpayer’s ability to pay, and should generate adequate revenue during poor economic times; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) recognizes and advocates that substantial adjustments to the state’s system of taxation and revenue collections should be comprehensive to fulfill the obligations of government to provide quality services to the public; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT maintains a strong role in leadership, advocacy, and support of coalitions such as “A Better Illinois,” who seek to change the Illinois Constitution by  establishing an end to the antiquated, regressive simple income tax rate and replace it with a system that reflects workers’ income, applying lower rates to lower income and higher rates to higher income; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT will support and advocate for a revenue collection system that includes taxation on varied consumer services, which is the fastest growing segment of the state’s economy; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT will also support and advocate efforts to apply a tax or fee on the hundreds of billions of transactions associated with the financial trading and exchange industry in Illinois; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT will continue to support and advocate for the end of billions of dollars in special tax cut deals afforded to highly profitable corporate entities at the expense of small businesses and low- and middle-income families; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT commits to identifying community and labor allies for its locals, conducts canvasses, and builds forums in our local communities to generate support for fair taxation in Illinois; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that, upon the success of securing fairness in our state’s system of taxation and revenue collections, the IFT will advocate for varied tax relief programs aimed at Illinois working families to assist with their efforts in achieving the financial security needed to grow Illinois’ middle class.   


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