To the Editor:

When you open your ballot this fall, you might be surprised to learn that the first thing you will vote for is not the president. Rather, you will be asked to vote yes or no on a change in the Illinois Constitution. This is the exact wording you will see:

“The proposed amendment grants the State authority to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels, which is how the federal government and a majority of other states do it. The amendment would remove the portion of the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution that is sometimes referred to as the 'flat tax,' that requires all taxes on income to be at the same rate. The amendment does not itself change tax rates. It gives the State the ability to impose higher tax rates on those with higher income levels and lower tax rates on those with middle or lower income levels. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become a part of the Illinois Constitution.”

Illinois is only one of four states in the United States that still uses the antiquated flat tax system. That means that no matter how much money you make, you still pay the same tax rate. As a result, those with lower incomes spend a much higher percentage on Illinois income tax than those with very large incomes. This is one of the main reasons that Illinois is in a dire fiscal situation. Those who earn more than $250,000 a year after deductions simply do not pay their fair share. 

I encourage you to carefully look at the words you will find on your ballot and then vote YES for the Fair Tax.

Sarah Bingaman


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