Point: Let the people vote on graduated income tax

http://bit.ly/2JAW6Na

In this week’s Point/Counterpoint, writers are addressing the question: Should Illinoisans be given the opportunity to vote on changing the state constitution from a flat income tax rate to a graduated rate?

There are a number of critical issues up for debate in Springfield that will affect Illinois families and the future of our state — marijuana legalization, sports gambling and passing a capital bill, to name a few. But no issue will have more of an impact on every Illinoisan than the fight for the fair tax.

Fortunately, our system is set up in such a way to allow the people of Illinois the opportunity to directly have a say on such a critical issue. That’s right, while usually voters only get to choose an elected official and then hope that person stays true to their promises and acts in the best interests of Illinois families, when it comes to putting the fair tax in place, the people of Illinois can be given the final word.

The upcoming vote by the legislature in Springfield is just step one of the process. If legislators approve the measure, they will be passing the baton to the people of Illinois who in November of 2020 will get to decide whether they want to keep our current tax system, or replace it with a system that forces the wealthy to finally pay their share.

It will not come as a surprise to readers that Think Big Illinois strongly supports a fair tax. We believe Illinois should have a tax system that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

Our current tax system is fundamentally unfair. It forces middle class families to pay nearly 13 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while the top 1 percent of Illinoisans pay just 7 percent.

The fair tax will make our tax system more equal, while ensuring that 97 percent of Illinoisans see no income tax increase. It will also generate billions in new revenue, money that can go toward funding our schools and helping dig out of our $3.2 billion budget hole.

We plan on making that case to Illinoisans in the lead up to November 2020, because if voters know the truth about how the fair tax will help our families, our communities and our state, they’ll vote in favor of it on the ballot.

And opponents of a fair tax know that, too. They know that if given the chance, Illinoisans will vote for the fair tax, so they’re trying to make sure that opportunity never occurs.

These opponents are the select few who our current unfair tax system is working for, and they’ve resorted to launching desperate attacks and peddling misleading claims to keep voters from having a say.

Legislators in Springfield should look beyond the noise, and focus on this simple question: Should Illinoisans have the chance to decide what kind of tax system they want, the chance to have a direct say on an issue that will affect them, their families, and the future of our state?

If the answer is yes, then legislators should support the fair tax. Illinoisans deserve a say in this fight.

Quentin Fulks is the executive director of Think Big Illinois, a nonprofit organization fighting for progressive policies in Illinois.

16-Econ,22-Talk,26-Delivered,AllPolGA

Region: Springfield,Feeds,Sang,Editorial,Opinion,Region: Central,City: Springfield

via Editorials – The State Journal-Register http://bit.ly/2UY6AZy

May 22, 2019 at 08:13PM

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