The Case for a Graduated Income Tax to Help Heal Illinois’ Fiscal Woes

A new report from the Center on Budget and Tax Accountability argues that Illinois is historically one of the most unfair states in its tax policy.  Taxes that fall disproportionately on the working and middle-classes weigh down the Illinois economy and starve its public institutions.  The authors write:

“Illinois’ continuing failure to create tax fairness should concern everyone, because this failure has consequences beyond being poor tax policy. Indeed, the data indicate that Illinois’ lack of tax fairness has both contributed materially to the state’s ongoing General Fund budget deficits and harmed Illinois’ private sector economy.”

Contrary to assertions from anti-tax think tanks, Illinois is a relatively low tax state. Sales taxes and flat income tax rates draw disproportionately on the incomes of the poor, working-  and middle-class Illinoisans, and can’t do enough to stimulate the economy or fill in the holes created by the financial crisis and decades of legislative borrowing from the pension funds.

CBTA supports the introduction of a graduated income tax to help Illinois recover from the current recession and strengthen its public education system and social services.  The report was co-written by David Merriman, Professor of Public Administration at UIC.  Its recommendations are being supported by our district’s State Senator, Mike Frerichs.

We encourage you to check out CBTA’s report, and watch this site as legislators begin to address the public employees pension hole.

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