Get the Facts

This November, Illinois voters will vote on a Constitutional Amendment put on the ballot by the State Legislature and the Governor that would drastically change the structure of state income taxes in Illinois. After raising income taxes twice in the last decade to fund out-of-control spending, this damaging and deceptive Constitutional Amendment would give the Legislature more power to raise taxes on every group of taxpayers with no limits and no accountability. If passed, it would immediately impose a $3.4 billion tax hike that would be especially devastating to small business owners, large employers, and family farmers recovering from the pandemic.

Why oppose the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment?

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Gives politicians more power to raise taxes, with no limits

Gives politicians more power to raise taxes, with no limits

The Illinois State Constitution requires the state income tax rate to be the same for all taxpayers – currently at 4.95%. This makes it difficult for the Legislature to increase income tax rates because any rate increase affects all taxpayers (i.e., all voters).

The proposed Constitutional Amendment would repeal this important constitutional protection and give the Legislature unprecedented new authority to increase income tax rates on any group of taxpayers at will – including lower- and middle-income taxpayers and small business owners – and lock those new powers into our State’s Constitution. There would be no limit on the number of tax brackets that could be created and no limit on how high tax rates could be increased on groups of individual taxpayers. The day after the election, there would be nothing to prevent the Legislature from raising state income taxes on everyone.

Gives politicians a blank check, with no accountability

Gives politicians a blank check, with no accountability

If the proposed Constitutional Amendment passes, legislation already in place would initially impose six new income tax brackets ranging from 4.75% to 7.99% and would result in billions in new taxes with no accountability as to how the new tax money would be spent.

Nothing in the Constitutional Amendment requires the Legislature to do anything to control spending. Nor does it dedicate any of the additional tax revenue toward critical needs such as health care, education, and public safety. It would simply give the Legislature a blank check to spend billions of dollars however they want.

Baits voters into a trap that opens the door for higher taxes on middle-class families

Baits voters into a trap that opens the door for higher taxes on middle-class families

Springfield Politicians claim their proposal is just about taxing the rich. That’s the bait.

In fact, it would give the Legislature more power to raise income taxes on all taxpayers – with no limits on how high taxes could go. That’s the trap.

Politicians are trying to trap voters because, for years, they’ve mismanaged the State’s finances. In the last decade, the Legislature raised the state income tax twice to fund out-of-control spending. But, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois still had an $8 billion budget deficit, and the unfunded pension liability skyrocketed to over $137 billion.

The truth is, the proposed rates are just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the amount of money the Legislature would need to fix their fiscal mismanagement. Unless the Legislature is forced to control spending and make needed reforms, they will have to continue raising taxes on everyone in Illinois, including middle-class families.

Gov. Pritzker admitted that the Amendment would not protect middle-income and lower-income taxpayers from future tax hikes. “So, there’s certainly no guarantees.”
Source: ABC 7 interview, April 23, 2019, Chicago

Hurts small businesses, kills jobs, and undermines our State’s economy at the worst possible time

Hurts small businesses, kills jobs, and undermines our State’s economy at the worst possible time

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Illinois 46th in private-sector job growth. Last year, the Legislature only made things worse by implementing more than a dozen new tax and fee hikes and a slew of new employer mandates. And, this year, the coronavirus pandemic has put many local businesses on the brink of bankruptcy and caused the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression.

The proposed Illinois income tax hike would further hurt our badly damaged economy by immediately increasing taxes on tens of thousands of small businesses and family farmers by almost 50% and by imposing the second-highest business tax rate in the country on large employers.

Now is the worst possible time to force small business owners and large employers to face huge new tax increases. If the Constitutional Amendment passes, it would be the last straw for thousands of small businesses, cause more large employers to leave the state, and stop new employers from locating here. Studies show tens of thousands of jobs will be lost and even more people will leave Illinois.

A University of Illinois study estimates Illinois can expect more than half a million full-time job losses and tens of billions of dollars in lost income over the next year due to the pandemic.
Source: "Economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic: State perspectives,” Task Force on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), University of Illinois System, May 2020.

Would not provide material tax relief to middle- and lower-income taxpayers

Would not provide material tax relief to middle- and lower-income taxpayers

Middle- and lower-income families in Illinois are already burdened by some of the highest state and local taxes in the nation, including new taxes approved last year such as doubling of the gas tax, vehicle registration fee hikes, and expansion of online sales taxes, among others.

Under our State’s current Constitution, there is only one state income tax rate, but the Legislature can and does provide deductions that reduce the burden on middle- and lower-income taxpayers. For example, the bottom 20% of taxpayers (those making below $21,800) pay 1.5% of their income towards personal income tax – even though the rate is 4.95%. In fact, most of the tax burden on low-income earners are from property and sales tax (12.8%) – not personal income tax.

The initially proposed rates – used as bait to get voters to support the Constitutional Amendment – really only saves an individual who makes $21,800 a year, $2 per month. And, the tax rate for the lowest income bracket in Illinois (4.75%) would actually be higher than the lowest tax bracket of 90% of states with a graduated income tax.

That’s hardly the kind of “tax cut” working families need.

Join our Coalition

I am opposed to the Proposed Income Tax Hike Amendment, a damaging and deceptive Constitutional Amendment on the Illinois statewide ballot. You may list me publicly as a member of The Coalition to Stop the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment, a growing coalition of concerned individuals, businesses and organizations from across Illinois who are against efforts to give politicians more power to raise taxes on every group of taxpayers with no limits and no accountability.

*Titles and affiliations are for identification purposes only and will be indicated as such on any published lists.
My business/organization is opposed to the Proposed Income Tax Hike Amendment, a damaging and deceptive Constitutional Amendment on the Illinois statewide ballot. You may list my business/organization publicly as a member of The Coalition to Stop the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment, a growing coalition of concerned individuals, businesses and organizations from across Illinois who are against efforts to give politicians more power to raise taxes on every group of taxpayers with no limits and no accountability.

*Titles and affiliations are for identification purposes only and will be indicated as such on any published lists.
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