What the CTBA
proposes is not some kind of new crackpot idea. Most states already have a
graduated income tax, so we can see how they work.
Illinois were to adopt the same graduated income tax rate structure as
Iowa, Illinois would raise $6.3 billion more in revenue than it does from
its current five percent flat rate, while 54 percent--over half--of all
taxpayers would pay less in state income taxes..."-- The Case for Creating
a Graduated Income Tax in Illinois, CTBA, 2/28/12
has been a lot of talk in Springfield
about "reforming" pensions and Medicaid (translated: cut, cut, cut"), but have
you heard any mention of reforming our income tax system? Admittedly, the state
Constitution would have to be amended to allow a graduated income to be
implemented--so why hasn't anyone suggested that?
year, legislators proposed an amendment (HJRCA 49) to make it harder for them
to increase pension benefits for anyone during the occasional fits of
generosity that often infect legislators during election years. Instead of
wasting time doing this, why didn't someone propose an amendment that could
actually do something toward solving Illinois'
fiscal problems--like allowing a graduated income tax?
Is it somehow possible
that Illinois politicians are
unaware of the benefits of implementing a graduated income tax? I defy anyone
to spend one hour investigating Illinois'
budget problems without running across information, analyses, and suggested solutions
from CTBA. Maybe our legislators are too busy shaking hands, kissing babies and
raising money for their next campaign to bother, but Governor Quinn cannot
pretend to be ignorant of the problem--or the solution. A press release (4/17/07) from then Lt. Governor Pat
Quinn's Office quoted him as saying:
- "Our taxpayers deserve immediate
action to provide tax relief and fundamentally reform Illinois' regressive tax code. "
- " "[T]he Institute on Taxation and
Economic Policy--a non-partisan Washington-based research group--has
ranked Illinois' "soak the middle class' tax code as
one of the ten most unfair tax codes in the country. "
How soon they forget: As Governor, Quinn has failed to push for "reform" of Illinois' regressive tax code, choosing instead to join lawmakers in rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
The CTBA has
proposed a graduated income tax plan for Illinois
that would raise $2.4 billion more that the current flat tax, stimulate jobs in
the private sector and give a tax cut to 94 percent of taxpayers.
Sound too good to
be true? Don't believe it? Check out the facts and figures at http://www.ctbaonline.org. Maybe you don't
like the CTBA proposal. Maybe you have a better idea. Great! Let's hear it, and
be sure to let your Senator and Representative hear it too.
The point is that
we have to do something different. We cannot allow the politicians in Springfield
to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. That is one of the
popular definitions of insanity.
It is time to stop the insanity.
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