Supported by key public sector unions, a petition campaign called ‘A Better Illinois’ seeks to change the Illinois income tax system so that it is a graduated progressive tax (similar to our federal income taxes). Unions are supporting this change because the current flat tax of 5% for all Illinois residents is underfunding our schools, programs for the working poor, and worker retirements, and is also unfair to working people.
There is more information on the A Better Illinois website (http:/abetterillinois.org), and there’s a page on their website where you can sign the petition. Here are some points, in addition to what you might read on the “A Better Illinois” website.
Some Key Points
— 34 states currently have a progressive income tax, which is what this petition wants our state constitution to allow. The Federal income tax system already uses such a system, by which people who make more money pay a higher percentage in taxes.
—It has been estimated by the Illinois Education Association that a progressive system would decrease taxes for 94% of Illinois residents.
—The current problem with our pensions is a revenue problem, not a spending problem. The state is starved for funds. A large part of this problem is due to the current tax flat tax structure, with some not paying their proportionate share.
—If nothing is done, the 5% flat rate passed a few years ago will revert back to the 3% rate. Schools and our pensions will take further hits.
—When including all forms of taxes, the people who make the least amount of money pay the most as a percentage of their overall income. A progressive income tax will be fairer to people at the bottom of the income scale.