March 20, 2014
By illinoispolicy

Myth #1: “The ‘fair tax’ will only affect the rich.”  

Don’t be fooled. The ‘fair tax’ is being sold as a tax on the rich. But under the proposal from state Rep Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, the lawmaker who is sponsoring the bill to put a so-called “fair tax,” or progressive tax, amendment on the November ballot, Illinoisans will start paying higher tax rates at an income of just $18,000. This “fair tax” is nothing more than a huge tax increase on middle-class families of Illinois who are already overburdened. The average Illinois family can expect a tax increase of $781 a year. That’s unfair. Use the calculator to see how the “fair tax” will personally impact you.

Myth #2: “The ‘fair tax’ is a reform measure.”

Don’t be fooled. The progressive “fair tax” will not remedy the state’s spending problem or improve accountability. In fact, it does the opposite, providing politicians with a new, larger piggy bank that they control. Giving politicians more money gives them no incentive to change their over-spending ways. That’s unfair. It’s not the flat income tax structure that needs to be reformed; it’s the out-of-control spending and behavior of Illinois politicians.

Myth #3: “The ‘fair tax’ will restore fiscal solvency and stability to Illinois.”

Don’t be fooled. By the time the “temporary” tax increase of 2011 expires in 2015, Illinois families and businesses will have turned over an extra $31 billion to the state. That is more than what Illinois spends in a year on all core government services, including education! Yet even with all of this extra money, state government is still in deep fiscal trouble. Illinois’ credit has been downgraded five times since the tax hike was enacted; its unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the nation, and politicians paid off very little of the state’s $8.5 billion backlog – still owing more than $7 billion in unpaid bills. This is in spite of lawmakers claiming that the 2011 tax increase would solve all these problems! The additional revenue generated from the so-called “fair tax” will allow lawmakers to treat your income as their personal line of credit. That’s unfair.

Myth #4: “The ‘fair tax’ will help grow the middle class and small businesses”

Don’t be fooled. Proponents of the “fair tax” want to trick the middle class and small businesses into thinking they will see a tax cut, when in reality they will be forced to pay higher taxes if the tax hike is implemented. Taking more money away from hardworking families will not grow the economy or the middle class. And small business owners stand to be the biggest losers. More than 75 percent of them – LLCs, S-Corps and others – file their business revenue under their personal income taxes; under the ‘fair income tax’ proposal, these small businesses could be kicked up to very highest brackets! The so-called “fair tax,” or progressive tax, proposal would also allow for, and implement, a progressive tax structure for corporations, so small businesses will be negatively affected by it no matter how they file their taxes. That’s unfair.

Myth #5: “Let the people of Illinois decide if they want a ‘fair tax.’”

Don’t be fooled.  You will never be able to vote on what the tax rates will actually be under the “fair tax” –  politicians will decide that for you. In May, the Illinois General Assembly will be voting only on whether to put the so-called “fair tax,” or progressive tax, on the ballot in November. If it goes on the ballot, special-interest groups will spend a fortune trying to convince voters that the so-called “fair tax” is in their best interest – and it could actually be passed – leaving politicians free to create new tax brackets and higher tax rates for years to come. That’s unfair. That’s why it’s critical to stop the bill in its tracks.


TAGS: fair tax, graduated income tax, income tax, progressive income tax