Talkin' Fair Tax
Former Gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss addressed the Democratic Party of McHenry County's Central Committee this past Wednesday on the progressive tax legislation which recently passed the Illinois legislature. The legislation calls for a referendum to be placed on the ballot for the November 2020 election.
The referendum will ask voters to allow the Illinois constitution to be amended to permit a progressive "fair tax" to be put in place over the current flat tax system in effect under Illinois' Income Tax. Here are a couple of the important take aways Mr. Biss stressed:
Currently Illinois is one of only four other states that have a constitutional provision barring anything else other than a flat tax. If 45 other states based their income tax system on a progressive tax why shouldn't Illinois? Just think about it, those making the highest income in Illinois pay the same rate that you do in taxes. Anyway you cut it, its not fair.
The rates proposed under the fair tax would see 97% of Illinoisans pay less income tax. It would increase revenue by $3.4 billion which will be used to pay down the structural deficit between revenue and expenses currently plaguing the Illinois budget. That's a good start to getting the state back on a firm financial footing. It's a win win for everyone.
While everyone will be fired up over casting votes for a new president, sometimes referendum questions escape voters attention. It's important that folks cast a vote on the question and not take a pass and leave it blank. The referendum gets approved in one of two ways. First, by 51% of the total votes cast in the Presidential election. If the total number of votes cast for or against the referendum question does not equal more the 1/2 of the votes cast in the Presidential election, then 60% of the votes cast must be yes votes in order for it to pass. In other words, its important to vote for it and not leave the question blank.
Millions of dollars will be spent by organizations like the Illinois Polity Institute to convince voters that, in some twisted logic, a fair tax will increase their taxes. The twisted logic goes like this, while you'll pay less tax now....just wait further down the road for increases. Well everything is always subject to change regardless if its a fair tax or a flat tax. In fact a fair tax, generating more revenue, would make any future tax increases less likely. Another red herring argument is the flight of upper income folks from Illinois. Well where will they go? All surrounding states have progressive tax systems in place with rates more than proposed for Illinois, except Wisconsin where the rate is 1/2% less for the wealthiest.
Bottom line, we need to educate ourselves and start taking to neighbors, friends and relatives to combat the misinformation and outright lies that radical far right Republicans will be saturating the media with over the next year. Visit thinkbigillinois.com or mchenrydems.org for additional information regarding the Illinois Fair Tax. Because at the end of the day.....its only fair.