During my time as state representative for the 67th Illinois House District, my top priority was fighting to enact policies that would help the hardworking families I represented. So many of the people I met in my district lived paycheck to paycheck, and I fear that they’re now struggling to make ends meet as we face this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Now is the time for fundamental change to help our families and give our state a brighter future, and that’s why we need to pass the Fair Tax in November.
Our current tax system is broken, forcing the essential workers we’ve all relied on over these last months — grocery store clerks, nurses, janitors — to pay the same tax rate as the millionaires and billionaires in our state.
Our working- and middle-class families have faced the brunt of the coronavirus crisis, and it’s simply not fair that our current tax system is so stacked against them. The Fair Tax would set things right, raising taxes only on those making over $250,000 a year, while keeping them the same or less for everyone else.
Right here in Winnebago County, nearly 99% of residents would see their taxes go down or stay the same under the Fair Tax. The select few who make more than $250,000 a year in our county will pay more, a small price to pay for making our state a better place for all who call it home.
The extra revenue generated by raising taxes on the wealthiest Illinoisans can go toward improving our education system and strengthening our social services. Since our current system does not generate adequate revenue to fund our state, our schools and crucial services our families rely on are drastically underfunded.
During my time working in education and as a counselor, I saw firsthand how our underfunded schools are failing our students. Rockford’s children, and children across our state, deserve to get the best education they can, but right now that’s simply not happening. Schools are primarily funded by property taxes, creating inequities that are built into the system. By passing the Fair Tax, we can properly fund our schools and lessen the property tax burden our families face.
And during my time as a human services professional, I witnessed the severe cuts our mental health services have faced in past years, and the devastating impact that can have on those it serves. Now our area faces the loss of behavioral health services as Mercyhealth has petitioned the state to stop providing mental health services in our community. In these challenging months during the coronavirus crisis, the services these programs provide have only become more essential. We need this additional revenue the Fair Tax will generate to keep these programs working for those in need.
Our country, our state, and our Rockford community face challenging times ahead. The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront the economic inequality baked into our system and put Illinois’ finances in an increasingly precarious position. There’s so much work to be done, but we can take action in this election by passing the Fair Tax. It’s what we need to build a future where all of our families can thrive.
Litesa Wallace formerly represented the 67th District in the Illinois House of Representatives.
via Journal Standard
July 18, 2020 at 08:51AM