Advocates Push Back Against Business Groups Opposed To Graduated Income Tax Amendment

Jul 14, 2020

The lobbying around the graduated income tax amendment backed by Gov. JBPritzker and Democrats is ramping up.

Business groups announced a new organization to coordinate their formal opposition last week. On Tuesday, Peoria-area proponents calling themselves "Vote Yes For Fairness" held a virtual press conference advocating for the switch from a flat tax rate to several brackets.

Graciela Guzman is campaign director of Healthy Illinois.

"What we're fighting for here is tax fairness. Giving working folks a tax cut. Making sure that the wealthy are paying their fair share," she said. "And it comes down to funding priorities. What are those key community priorities all over the state, investments that we need, and the fair tax helps to achieve that."

Marvin Hightower is pastor of Liberty Church of Peoria and leader of the Peoria NAACP.

"Our state has one of the terrible, 10 most regressive tax systems, under which working people with lesser means pay nearly double what the wealthiest people pay in state and local taxes as a share of income," Hightower said.

Advocates argue the graduated income tax would lower or leave unchanged rates for those earning $250,000 or less. But opponents contend the flat tax is fairer, because everyone pays at the same rate regardless of income level.

Voters will decide in November whether to adopt the amendment to the Illinois Constitution allowing for a graduated income tax structure.

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