Time for Action:
Getting the Fair Tax Amendment on November 2018 Ballot

April 16, 2018

FROM:  
Bonnie Cox, President
Hilary Denk and Heather Cunningham, Issues Co-Chairs
Kathy Nesburg and Andy Daglas, Issues Specialists

ACTION NEEDED:
Illinois has the opportunity to greatly improve our fiscal situation by adopting a graduated rate income tax (aka, Fair Tax), like that used in 33 other states. This requires amending the Illinois Constitution, which can only happen through a ballot initiative.

Ask your state legislators to support putting the Fair Tax Amendment on the November 2018 ballot. The resolution in the House is  HJRCA39. The resolution in the Senate is  SJRCA1. These bills must pass by May 6 in order to place the amendment on the 2018 ballot. The last day the House is scheduled to meet during this session is April 27, so please contact your House Representative before then.

For more information on the Fair Tax, see the attached  fact sheet.

LWVIL will be lobbying lawmakers on this issue, among others, during our Springfield Lobby Day on Wednesday, April 18Learn more and sign up here.

Find your legislators' contact info at  https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/ 

WHY IT MATTERS:
  • A Fair Tax, unlike our current flat tax, reduces the tax burden on low- and middle-income families. While requiring wealthier individuals and corporations to pay more on the top levels of their income, a Fair Tax could lower the effective tax rate for 90% of Illinoisans.
     
  • According to the Responsible Budget Coalition, a Fair Tax could raise an additional $2 billion to fund schools, health care, infrastructure, and other vital services that have suffered severe budget cuts in recent years.
     
  • Currently, the Illinois Constitution limits the ability of voters and lawmakers to choose an optimal state income tax structure. By amending the Constitution to allow for a Fair Tax, Illinois will gain greater control and flexibility in its fiscal policy.
     
  • States with a Fair Tax on average grow their economies as fast or faster than states that do not.
     
  • Our current State Fiscal Policy position states: "The League of Women Voters of Illinois supports a diversified revenue system that principally relies on a combination of broad-based taxes and user fees, and is equitable, progressive, stable, responsive, and simple." LWVIL has supported and advocated for progressive tax reform since the 1990s. As our state's fiscal situation has worsened, in large part due to an inequitable tax structure, the urgency of this reform has only increased.

League of Women Voters of Illinois
332 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 634, Chicago, IL  60604
Phone: (312) 939-5935  | Email:  issues@lwvil.org  | website:  www.lwvil.org
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