Graduated income tax could ‘relieve’ property tax pressure, advocates say

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — John Bouman, the Chairman of ‘Vote Yes for Fair Tax,’ joined Capitol Connection this week to argue in favor of the graduated income tax, and to defend it from criticism that state legislators won’t spend the money in the right places.

“The ballot committee is over 100 groups, most of them with large constituencies, that intend to hold all of the politicians accountable for spending this on the things that it needs to be spent on,” Bouman said.

Business groups have argued the estimated $3.4 billion in new annual tax revenue won’t be enough to cover the state’s pension obligations and other unpaid bills. In a press event last Tuesday, Cindy Neal from the National Federation of Independent Business Leadership Council of Illinois predicted, “The progressive tax will do nothing to address our sky high property taxes. It’s simply additional taxes onto already overburdened Illinois taxpayers.”

Bouman said the state’s current flat income tax structure is one of the biggest drivers of high property taxes, and that allowing for a graduated income tax structure would “definitely relieve pressure on property taxes.”

“Communities around this state that want to have a good education system and that want to replace state cuts in human services and mental health care, things like that, if they want to do that they have to raise their own money,” Bouman said. “That’s the property tax. Right? That’s why we’ve had upward pressure on the property tax. It’s why we currently have a high property tax. That’s the one tax we have that’s higher than in other states, but that’s locally levied. The reason for that is because we’ve had an under-performing, broken, unfair state revenue system that we can take a big step to start to improve on.

“We will hold politicians accountable for doing the right thing with these funds,” he said.

“The problem with this broken system is it asks too much from working people, and it doesn’t ask enough from the wealthiest people who pay about half of their household income compared to what working people pay,” Bouman said.

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