We have a chance to create greater income equality in Illinois by passing the Fair Tax amendment to the Illinois constitution on the November ballot.
Current income tax policy in Illinois favors the rich. We have a flat income tax where those earning minimum wage and those who are billionaires pay the same income tax rate. It makes it impossible for the state to pay its bills.
Including the state’s pension obligation.
Which is why I am disappointed with the leadership of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association which has refused to take a position on the Fair Tax.
Although no retiree income is taxed in Illinois, we have spent a working life-time paying state income tax.
Plus retirees pay local property and sales taxes. Local taxes carry the extra burden of paying for public services because the state can’t.
It is a tax burden for the working poor while the one percent gets tax breaks.
I am a member of the IRTA, mainly because they broke ranks with the state’s union leadership when the Democrats passed the bill cutting public employee pension benefits.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that action unconstitutional as a result of the IRTA’s lead in taking legal action.
But the IRTA is wrong about abstaining on the Fair Tax.
Yesterday my IRTA chapter’s governing board voted to support the Fair Tax. Other chapters are also taking action to support the Fair Tax. More should do the same thing.
It will be a tough vote to win as it is. As a constitutional amendment the Fair Tax requires a supermajority of the voters.
The latest corruption charges involving House Speaker Michael Madigan won’t make it any easier. He has handed the opponents of the Fair Tax an issue where some may be concerned with giving the state more money while those like Madigan make secret deals with ComEd. I get it.
But it is a diversion.
It’s one of the reasons he should resign as Speaker and Democratic Party chairman.
Meanwhile the pro-business lobby, like the Illinois Policy Institute, is spending a ton of their corporate patron’s bucks spreading lies.
I’ve heard from retirees that a vote for the Fair Tax will open up the constitution to other changes including to the pension protection clause.
I’ve heard from retirees that a vote for the Fair Tax will mean taxing retirement income.
Yesterday, on the 100th anniversary of the victory for women’s right to vote, leaders from several statewide organizations emphasized Illinois women led the fight for voting rights.
“Passing this amendment would provide more than $3 billion a year to the state,” said Jennifer Welch, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action CEO. “And this money could be used for healthcare and human services.”
“The process of progress is not a straight line, but it is an ongoing active fight that hopefully we’re all engaged in,” said Women Employed President Cherita Ellens. “And the Fair Tax amendment is part of that fight for progress.”