by Toby Trimmer, Communications Director
@ILDCCA  @tobytrimmer

Giving Illinois voters the choice to fundamentally reform the state’s outdated and regressive tax structure into a fair system that works for everyone recently passed a big hurdle in Springfield. State Senate Democrats approved the Fair Tax Constitutional Amendment to House lawmakers to consider for the 2020 election ballot.

Under the fair tax plan, 97% of Illinois residents would not see a state income tax increase, with only those making more than $250,000 paying more. The plan not only lifts the burden off middle and lower income families who are disproportionately hurt by the state’s current tax structure, but it creates a more fair and just system where everyone can get ahead.

Part of Democratic Governor JB Pritzker’s push for the fair tax includes Illinois’ longstanding inability to close a structural budget deficit, where even with the hollowing out core services, state finances remain unstable from year to year. The fair tax structure will stabilize the state with billions of dollars in revenue to help the state meet the obligation to fund schools and invest in a stronger economy.

It is important to remember that opponents of a fair tax are those who benefit from the current unfair tax system. They are willing to do or say anything to keep the unfair tax in place and have been relentless in lobbing desperate scare tactics and false attacks.

The IDCCA continues to stand with Think Big Illinois to push back on these attacks and call them out for the deceptive tactics they are.

Here are the straightforward facts:

FALSE CLAIM: A fair tax is a “jobs tax.”

HARD FACT: This is a desperate attack that has repeatedly been debunked by independent organizations like PolitiFact, which said “While there’s no official definition for a ‘jobs tax,’ it’s pretty clear Pritzker’s plan doesn’t contain one.”

FALSE CLAIM: The wealthiest Illinoisans will leave the state if they’re finally forced to pay their share.

HARD FACT: There is no research to back this claim up. In fact, research shows there is actually no correlation between a state’s tax rates and the likelihood a high-income family leaves the state.

FALSE CLAIM: A fair tax will give the legislature a blank check to raise taxes on middle-class families whenever they want.

HARD FACT: The legislature will have the same power if the fair tax is passed as they do now. The only difference is Illinois would finally have a tax structure where the wealthiest pay their fair share.

FALSE CLAIM: The solution to Illinois’ problems is cutting spending.

HARD FACT: We tried that under the previous administration, and it didn’t work. Illinois is in a $3.2 billion budget hole, and our education system and our social services have seen devastating cuts that have left them drastically underfunded.

While legislators in Springfield continue to discuss the fair tax, we can help keep up the momentum in support of the fair tax on social media using the hashtag #FairTaxNow and by partnering with Think Big Illinois.