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To the Editor:

A change to the Illinois income tax code would provide tax relief to 99 percent of Illinoisans and generate nearly $2 billion in much needed new money.

Currently, the state income tax is a flat tax as mandated by the Illinois Constitution. With a three-fifths vote from the Senate and House, a referendum would be placed on the November 2018 ballot allowing Illinoisans to decide whether to amend the constitution to allow for a fair tax. In a 2017 Paul Simon Public Policy survey, 72 percent of Illinoisans, including a majority of Republicans, Democrats, Southern Illinoisans, and earners of more than $100,000 per year, support amending the constitution to allow for a Fair Tax.

The Responsible Budget Coalition has proposed a rate structure that would provide tax relief to individuals making less than $355,000 annually and married couples making less than $513,000. At the same time, the rate structure would generate $1.9 billion dollars annually. For individuals making between $11,100 and $355,000, this structure provides lower effective income taxes for Illinoisans than their neighbors in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Kentucky!

The recent budget impasse resulted in massive cuts to crucial services in Southern Illinois: education, healthcare, public safety, and human services. By generating new revenue, Illinois can minimize future cuts and begin to pay down the backlog of unpaid bills.

Our local legislators must support a proposal that allows Illinoisans’ voices to be heard, invests in our communities, and provides tax relief for virtually all of their constituents. Call them today.

Kate Fakhoury

Illinois Partners for Human Service

Carbondale

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