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Democratic lawmakers file legislation to amend Constitution to allow for a fair tax

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Illinois is one step closer to implementing a fair income tax, lawmakers announced today.

 

Sponsors of legislation amending the Constitution to allow for a fair tax joined Gov. JB Pritzker today to announce that official language has been filed and will be taken up in committee this week.

The amendment’s chief sponsor, Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) said at the press conference that he has been working with legislators and advocates for almost 10 years to update Illinois’ tax system.

“Our state’s current tax structure is antiquated and gives us little ability to respond to an economic downturn. It puts a greater burden on working families than on the very wealthy,” said State Senator Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat. “The majority of the country has realized that a fair tax structure works well – it’s time for Illinois to join them.”

Senator Toi Hutchinson, an Olympia Fields Democrat, said a fair tax is the best option to fix Illinois’ finances.

“Taxpayers have three choices. They can say they’re OK with slashing funding for schools, universities and senior services, which would raise property taxes. They can say they’re OK with a 20 percent tax increase for every Illinoisan. Or we can update our income tax structure so that the wealthiest 3 percent of Illinoisans pay more,” Hutchinson said. “I think it’s crystal clear that a fair, modern tax system is the direction we should go.”

Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat, said a fair tax will work to eliminate the inequality between working Illinoisans and the very wealthy.

“I hear from people in my district all the time who are tired of a system that penalizes them for working hard and rewards wealthy people who don’t pay their fair share. Illinois’ flat tax feeds that disparity,” Manar said. “It’s time to take some pressure off of Illinois’ working-class families and bring more stability to the state. A fair tax will help us accomplish that.”

View remarks from the governor’s press conference below.