The movement to switch Illinois from a flat tax to a more graduated “fair” tax is gaining steam, according to the Springfield State Journal-Register:
Supporters of a graduated income tax for Illinois said Monday they’ve collected more than 150,000 signatures from people who support changing the state’s flat income tax system.
Members of A Better Illinois said they plan to continue gathering signatures through the winter and spring in an effort to convince lawmakers to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would authorize a graduated income tax in the state.
Proponents of the change say vital services have been shortchanged in part due to an outdated tax system that hits the state’s middle class particularly hard. The state’s current tax system has also been linked by many to problems in funding education.
Since 2010, the state has come up lacking in general state aid for Illinois public school districts every year, shorting them $518 million for the 2012-13 school year alone.
For a number of years, Illinois has come in at or near the bottom in terms of education funding fairness, a situation advocates say is due in large part to the flat tax.
A survey in July found that 92 percent of voters in Illinois agree that “the tax system in Illinois is broken and needs to be fixed” while 77 percent supported an amendment to allow a fair tax.
If adopted by the General Assembly, the proposed referendum would ask Illinois voters if they want to amend the 1970 Illinois Constitution, which currently states that personal income tax must be non-graduated, or flat.