Think tank urges Illinois constitutional change for fairer tax

Jun 27, 2012

The leader of a not-for-profit think tank says now is the time for Illinois citizens to push their legislators toward a more fair tax system.

 Ralph Martire spoke at the Unitarian Universalist church in Rockford Tuesday night. He’s the executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. He says the state constitution mandates a flat tax, and his organization sees that as regressive:

We're a tax outlier, it hurts our ability to raise revenue, it hurts our ability to fund services, and it doesn't tax our population fairly. We need to fix that. In one fell swoop, we can get it accomplished with a graduated income tax.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


Martire would like to see state income taxes raised slightly for those earning at least $150,000 a year. Tax hikes would go up incrementally for earnings beyond that. Martire says that would raise nearly 2.5 billion dollars a year in new revenue. He’s urging voters to make a constitutional change to a graduated income tax an issue with candidates for the State House and Senate in this fall’s election.