Time for Action: 
HR1025 Progressive Income Tax - Support
May 1, 2018
FROM: 
Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
Hilary Denk and Heather Cunningham, LWVIL 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 (also known as the Fair Tax), like that used in thirty-three other states. This requires amending the Illinois Constitution, which can only happen through a ballot initiative. The next opportunity to vote on a ballot initiative in a General Election occurs in 2020. In the meantime, we need to encourage our legislators to move ahead and put the graduated rate income tax initiative on the ballot.

Ask your state legislators to support House Resolution 1025 This resolution calls for an amendment to the Illinois Constitution to allow for a Fair Tax. It recognizes that Illinois needs more revenue to provide for education and other core services and that it must look to the wealthy to provide some of that revenue. Illinois is still in a fiscal crisis and we must take steps to remedy the problem by increasing revenues.

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

The House Committee on Revenue and Finance will be holding a hearing at 2:30 PM tomorrowMay 2, 2018. You can file a witness slip  as an individual LWVIL has already filed  in favor of the resolution at: http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/112507?committeeHearingId=15988&LegislationId=112507&LegislationDocumentId=143004

Filing witness slips is a good way to demonstrate your support.

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 over 90% of Illinois taxpayers.
     
  • 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 urgent need for this reform has 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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