* Press release…
Today, in an unprecedented coalition effort, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, National Federation of Independent Business - Illinois, and Technology and Manufacturing Association joined together to urge Illinois voters to vote no on the Progressive Tax Constitutional Amendment. Leaders of the coalition held simultaneous press conferences at four locations throughout Illinois among the very people this tax would hurt most: small businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and workers.
Their message was heard loud and clear: Illinoisans are already overtaxed. Families, workers, seniors, and small business owners struggle under the weight of the highest overall tax burden in the entire country, yet politicians in Springfield are trying to hike taxes again. The progressive tax will do nothing to address our sky-high property taxes; will cost jobs, slow wage growth, and hurt Illinois workers; and will end up raising taxes on the middle class and the working poor. Illinoisans can’t afford another tax hike, especially as working families and small businesses struggle to recover from COVID-19.
Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch said, “The progressive tax increase is the same thing as leaving a huge bag of taxpayers’ cash at the backdoor of the statehouse and city hall. None of the money is dedicated to property tax relief, increased funding of education, public safety or pension debt relief. Politicians arrogantly demand that hard-working taxpayers trust them to spend the money wisely. We don’t.”
Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr remarked, “What this new progressive tax will actually do is take us down the same route that these proposals have gone in other states. To cover all of Springfield’s spending and debt, the tax brackets and rates will have to be changed to raise taxes on the middle class and even the working poor, with higher rates starting at incomes as low as $25,000 per year. So while proponents claim the progressive tax would only tax ‘the rich,’ many of whom are local leaders like family farmers who are investing in their communities and creating jobs, the truth is that this amendment will open up every Illinoisan to tax increases.“
National Federation of Independent Business Illinois Leadership Council Chair Cindy Neal commented, “Let us not forget that Illinoisans already pay the 2nd highest property taxes in the nation, and these local taxes increase every single year. We pay three to four times the property taxes of our neighbors in Indiana and Wisconsin, and our taxes go up every year even though property values are stagnant. This progressive tax will do nothing to address our biggest problem in Illinois: our sky-high property tax burden. It simply piles additional taxes onto already overburdened Illinois taxpayers. All of these taxes have serious and real-life consequences for our families and small businesses, especially as we struggle to recover from COVID-19.”
Technology and Manufacturing Association President Steve Rauschenberger noted, “The progressive tax will cost jobs, slow wage growth, and hurt Illinois workers when we’re already facing the highest unemployment since the Great Depression due to the coronavirus. Our Illinois economy continues to lag our neighbors and the rest of the country because of high taxes. The progressive tax will further hurt our economy, costing Illinois up to 286,000 jobs and $43 billion in economic activity. This means fewer jobs for Illinois workers, slower wage growth and higher costs for families, and less opportunity for our children at a time when we can least afford it.”
About the Vote No on the Progressive Tax Coalition:
Leading small business and pro-taxpayer organizations from throughout Illinois have formed a grassroots coalition to defeat the Progressive Tax Amendment because Illinoisans are overtaxed. Families, workers, seniors, and small businesses struggle under the weight of the highest overall tax burden in the entire country. Illinois’ Progressive Tax Amendment proposal does nothing to address our sky-high property taxes, will cost jobs, slow wage growth, and hurt Illinois workers, with the result being a tax increase on the middle class and the working poor.
* Press release…
Vote Yes For Fairness Chairman Quentin Fulks released the following statement in response to this morning’s press conference from a self-described grassroots organization against the Fair Tax:
“Today’s press conference was the height of hypocrisy, put on by a group masquerading as a grassroots organization whose sole purpose is to protect the millionaires and billionaires who have benefited from Illinois’ unfair tax system for far too long. It’s despicable that they’re trying to capitalize on the coronavirus pandemic to protect the wealthiest Illinoisans, while so many families are struggling to make ends meet. Sadly, it comes as no surprise given these organizations have spent decades advocating for policies that decimated critical services, left our education system criminally underfunded, and hurt our nurses, grocery store clerks, paramedics, and other essential workers.
“Since the truth isn’t on their side, this press conference was filled with lies from start to finish. Contrary to what they say, the Fair Tax will only affect small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year in profit, while at least 97% of Illinoisans will see no income tax increase or a tax cut.
“Now more than ever, we need to change our tax system from one where our essential workers pay the same tax rate as millionaires and billionaires to one that finally makes the wealthiest Illinoisans pay their fair share. It’s clear from today’s press conference that opponents of the Fair Tax can only use desperate lies to try and mislead Illinois voters to keep the status quo in place, and Vote Yes For Fairness won’t let them go unanswered.”
…Adding… Another press release…
Vote Yes for Fair Tax chairman John Bouman issued this statement:
“It’s no surprise that wealthy special interests like the unfair old way of taxing income in Illinois, because it’s given them a sweet deal for way too long.
“Working people overwhelmingly support the Fair Tax amendment because everyone who makes under $250,000 will get a tax cut or pay no more.
“Fair Tax reform also means fair funding for every community and the important services we need now more than ever. When wealthy people pay their fair share, our state will have $3 billion more to invest in health care, schools, human services and jobs to rebuild our communities stronger and more fairly than before.”