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Issue Brief: Improving Tax Fairness Through Income Tax Reform

Illinois’ tax system is upside down. When adding up the effect of all state and local taxes, Illinois asks middle- and low-income households to pay a percentage of their income that is two to three times higher than the highest-income households pay. An improved income tax is key to fixing our tax system so that we all pay our fair share to make sure Illinois has the money it needs for public resources we all value—including quality education, roads and bridges, and safe communities.

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In an op-ed piece in Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lloyd writes that there will be real, long-lasting consequences for our state’s economy if current state income tax rates are allowed to expire. The resulting revenue collapse will threaten the state’s economic recovery, curtail the ability to support vital prosperity-promoting investments and create bad-for-business uncertainty over how the state will meet its many obligations.

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If Illinois’ income tax rates decline as scheduled at the end of this year, the resulting revenue collapse will threaten the state’s economic recovery, curtail the ability to support vital investments, and create more uncertainty over how the state will meet its obligations. Rather than dig a much deeper hole that would further undermine confidence in the state, the better way to put Illinois back on track is to maintain stable and sustainable revenue so that the state can invest in what really matters for job creation and economic growth. 

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