Phyllis Barklow, from Park Ridge, retired and community volunteer, shows up on my tv screen every night. They’re in a negative ad about the Fair Tax constitutional amendment that will be on the top of the ballot when Illinois voting begins in a few weeks.
Although I taught school in Park Ridge for many years I don’t know Mrs. Barklow. I did have senior volunteers in my Art room. They get a property tax break for volunteering in Park Ridge, which I think is a good idea for other cities to copy.
Billionaire Ken Griffin and the other members of the billionaire boys club who are paying for these ads made a strange pick having Mrs. Barklow be the face of the campaign.
The state’s current flat tax means that teachers and first responders pay the same income tax rate as the billionaires.
I don’t mean there’s anything wrong with Mrs. Barklow’s face, but as an Illinois senior they pay no tax to the state on their retirement income.
A change to the constitution to create a graduated income would have no affect on their income tax bill at all.
Some have suggested changing that, but that is not what we are voting on.
In fact, nothing else in the state constitution will be changed. The pension protection clause won’t be changed. The legislature’s ability to raise or lower taxes won’t be changed.
On the other hand, it won’t solve everything. There will still be corporate tax loopholes for the corporations and the rich.
It won’t stop corporations like ComEd from bribing Springfield politicians.
It is a small but important tax reform that makes the rich pay a larger share of the state’s bills.
Mrs. Barklow is selling a pig in a poke in this ad.
The truth is that as a result of the flat tax, local school districts and municipalities have to tax more in property taxes and local sales taxes to make up the difference.
That’s actually a bigger tax burden on seniors like like Mrs. Barklow.