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Letter: Illinois needs fair tax

Published: Friday, May 9, 2014 1:25 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:41 a.m. CST

To the editor:

Support for a fair tax in Illinois is growing among small-business owners, faith-based organizations, taxpayers earning below $200,000 per year and legislators. We know Illinois families will pay even higher property taxes to fund essential services if a graduated income tax is not passed.

We know budget cuts of $2 billion this fiscal year and $5 billion the next year mean further damage to public safety, education, health care and other critical social services. We know too much has been cut already because we’ve seen and felt the results.

We don’t fall victim to media sound bites against a graduated income tax from organizations that are financially supported by the very rich, who are least affected by our current flat tax.

We know a fair tax structure would put money in the pockets of middle class families to help boost local economies and grow jobs. We believe that a fair tax is what Illinois families need.

State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, filed an amendment to the Illinois Constitution to allow a graduated income tax and create the sustainable revenue required to provide critical public and social services in Illinois, including education, public safety and health care. He has introduced a rate schedule to provide a tax break to the 94 percent of Illinois taxpayers earning less than $205,000. This rate schedule proposes three tax rates:

• 2.9 percent on the first $12,500 of one’s taxable income

• 4.9 percent on the next $167,500 of one’s income, up to $180,000

• 6.9 percent on any income above $180,000.

The median individual Illinois taxpayer earns $55,137 annually. Under this rate schedule, they would receive a tax cut of $303. To calculate your tax rate, go to www.FairTaxCut.com.

Contact our state legislators today and tell them to support the proposed Illinois Constitutional Amendment, Senate Bill 350. If it passes the legislature, we’ll get the opportunity we deserve to vote for a fair tax.

Diana Hoke

League of Women Voters of Roselle/Bloomingdale president

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