DuPage County Board and the Fair Income Tax

As expected the DuPage County Board voted today for a resolution by a margin of 14-3 - Larson was a no show - to oppose an effort in Springfield to put a statewide referendum on the ballot this fall for voters to ask the State Assembly to amend the Illinois Constitution to allow for a fair graduated income tax. Every Republican voted for the resolution, every Democrat voted against it.

From the other side we heard a lot of scare tactics that were to be expected. They said it would raise taxes on DuPage residents, they said it didn't have any tax brackets attached to it so would raise taxes on everyone. To believe that is to believe that most politicians in Springfield are bent on political suicide and would pass a tax bill that hurts middle class taxpayers more than we're being hurt now.

All of this is conjecture based on nothing because the referendum only asks voters if they want to replace the flat income tax with a fair graduated tax. If Illinois voters in the fall said yes it would be up to the elected representatives and senators, Republicans included, to craft an amendment that would pass with support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Unlike the scary rightwing conjecture that presumes doom and gloom from a fair tax, which thirty four other states have, even conservatives ones, we do have real proof, real evidence about how the flat tax has worked out for us.

It's been an utter failure. Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state in country, the worst debt per capita. Our lousy credit rating costs Illinois taxpayers an extra $300 million dollars a year in interest on the bonds we issue. We have some of the highest property and sales taxes in the country. And for what? So Bruce Rauner's and Rahm Emanuel's buddies on the North Shore don't have to pay their fair share? Seems to me Illinois has been very good to these folks. If we want to continue to be a high wage state with good schools and roads they're going to have to start paying their fair share. And to do that we need to be adults and replace the unfair flat income tax with a fair graduated tax.
Tony Pedretti February 11, 2014 at 09:32 PM
What does the fair tax effort do about exemptions? How much state revenue is given back to individuals and smaller businesses under the current flat percentage model? Until the exemptions and any other loopholes are addressed making the most of the current flat percentage model we shouldn't be distracting with an escalating (progressive) percentage model.
Mark Garrity February 11, 2014 at 10:43 PM
The temporary tax hike expires in 2015. Even with it we're still running deficits. We have to fix the tax code or Illinois will go bankrupt. The longer we wait the worse it will be.
Tony Pedretti February 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Focus on the exemptions and other loopholes that are exploited in 2014. Quit distracting with "fair" legislation that further complicates policy.
Mark Garrity February 16, 2014 at 06:17 PM
There isn't anything complicated about the fair tax. An 11 year old can figure out a graduated tax schedule. 34 other states have them, both liberal and conservative states. The difference is they pay their bills and balance their budgets.


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