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Support for progressive income tax

With Illinois facing a $1.4 billion budget gap — and with voters saying no to a constitutional convention which might have fixed a constitutional provision requiring a flat rate for the state’s income tax — Public News Service reports on a new survey by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute with 66 percent of respondents supporting a progressive income tax for the state.

People “just sort of generally understand the fairness behind it,” comments Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.  The state’s antiquated tax structure is at the root of its revenue problems, he says.

“If your revenues don’t grow with the modern economy, you can’t continue to support public services because service costs go up with inflation every year,” Martire tells PNS. “You can’t have the fifth-biggest [state] economy ranked 45th in revenues and expect to meet the needs of your population – and we don’t. And that’s why we underfund schools, we underfund transit, we underfund health care; we underfund everything.”

Illinois is one of seven states with a flat income tax rate.

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Category: state budget, taxes

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