Fair Taxes & Economic Justice
Support a Fair and Graduated Tax Structure for Illinois
The current tax system in Illinois is unfair, inefficient and inadequate. It does not account for a person’s ability to pay and squeezes the middle class in an already tough economy. The wealthiest among us are not paying their fair share while we have had to lay off teachers, increase class sizes in our schools, force cities to lay off firefighters and police officers, cut healthcare for low-income seniors and children, and get rid of vital services—all of this while the state’s ongoing budget crisis rages on.
We must change the state constitution to allow for a fair and graduated income tax; reducing the taxes for low and middle income families and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.
It’s time for Illinois to get rid of the current unfair system and replace it with a system that is fair for all: one that accounts for the economic reality and people’s ability to contribute to the revenue needed to sustain and grow our state.
For an in-depth look at the fair tax click HERE.
For more information, contact Peter Starzynski at (312) 427-2114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Responsible Budget Coalition
On January 12, 2011 the Illinois General Assembly met its responsibility and supported a revenue increase that will set the foundation for our state to once again be able to meet its moral and legal obligation to protect public safety, safeguard public health, strengthen our economy, and ensure every child has the educational opportunity they deserve.
These new revenues will provide better balance in how we solve Illinois’ fiscal challenges, returning our state to more solid fiscal footing. The new revenue will help pay pressing state bills that are owed to schools, health care and human service providers and other important public services, as well as help to end a raft of ongoing, damaging budget cuts in those priorities. It will help retire heavy debt by covering scheduled payments to the state pension system. New jobs will be created by the immediate payment of back bills will put resources back into communities statewide, boosting the economy and create over 100,000 tax-paying, private-sector jobs, according to some estimates.
Citizen Action/Illinois would like to thank Governor Quinn, and all the legislators who courageouly supported new revenue. Because of their responsible action Illinois will join more than 30 other states, including most of our neighbors, who have already have raised significant new revenues to help balance their approach to steep fiscal challenges. Now Illinois can do likewise – to solve our soaring fiscal problems with better balance and responsibility, and put Illinois back on track toward recovery and prosperity.
Citizen Action/Illinois is a leader in the Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC). RBC is a coalition of over 500 public interest, human service, education, community and labor groups that have united to build the support needed to solve Illinois' budget crisis, prevent harmful cuts to essential public services, save jobs, eliminate the state's long-term structural deficit, and provide Illinoisians with relief from regressive taxation.
- We believe Illinois has a moral and legal obligation to protect public safety and health, strengthen our economy, and ensure that every individual has the opportunity to thrive. But by forcing deep and damaging cuts to education, health care, human services, and public safety, the current Illinois budget fails to meet those core obligations and undermines our state's chances for economic recovery.
- In addition, the state's failure to pay its bills in a timely manner has driven its bond rating lower while forcing creditors - including school districts and universities, medical and human services providers, public employees, small businesses, and other vendors - to effectively lend the state government billions of dollars.
- Painful cuts have already been made, substantially reducing general state spending. Despite these cuts and a series of one-time revenue measures, the state continues to run a dramatic and unsustainable deficit.
- We call on every Illinois elected official and candidate to acknowledge that this is a fiscal crisis - brought on by the state's long-standing structural budget deficit and a national economic downturn - demands a balanced approach that includes significant new revenue.
- To protect vital services and jobs and enable economic recovery, at least 32 other states already have raised new revenues in the past year. Illinois must do the same. For the well being of our communities, for economic stability and for our children's futures, we urge Illinois leaders to demonstrate responsible leadership and raise adequate revenue as soon as possible.
Jobs for America Now
The current jobs crisis continues to impact millions of Americans. To address this emergency, Citizen Action/Illinois, and our national partner USAction, have joined Jobs for America Now, a sweeping coalition of over 60 national organizations united in the effort to spur job creation and put America back to work.
As part of the coalition’s efforts, we support:
Direct creation of public service jobs.
To directly create jobs in a cost-effective manner, we must invest in the direct creation of public service jobs in the public- and nonprofit-sector that benefit local communities and make productive use of human capital. To be most effective, these programs should be targeted at communities hit hardest by unemployment. These jobs should be available to every unemployed worker and pay prevailing wages. Moreover, we must guard against the displacement of public employees.
The types of work may vary, depending on the communities’ need. Examples include environmental clean-up, stream restoration, community policing, before- and after-school care of children, demolition or boarding up of abandoned houses and buildings, parks improvements, home health care and preservation of historic buildings. In addition, health care implementation will provide an opportunity for job creation in many communities.
Investments on infrastructure, especially school construction, maintenance, and repair.
We can and must create jobs by meeting the tremendous need for repairing our nation’s infrastructure. The nation’s schools, for example, could quickly and effectively spend $10 billion on repairs and maintenance, which would effectively provide jobs for 1.5 million construction workers along with the countless other unemployed workers in the supplier industries and those generated when the newly-employed spend their salaries. Additionally, Congress must take action on the transportation reauthorizations in the Clean Water Act which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in construction, manufacturing, design and engineering.
Progressive taxes/revenue to finance job creation and economic recovery.
In order to invest in job creation and economic recovery, we must enact tax increases on the wealthiest individuals and corporations who have reaped the benefits when the economy was healthy. With the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the lowering of the Estate tax rate, and the increase in corporate tax loopholes, we face massive debt and budget shortfalls well into the future. It is critical that Congress continue to fight to bring taxes back to their historic levels and continue to shift revenues to job creation.