AARP AARP States Illinois

What's at stake for older Black and Hispanic Illinoisans this Fall?

AARP today continues to be guided by the promise that our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, made over 60 years ago: "What we do, we do for all." Through our advocacy, programs, and services, we fight against discrimination, advocate for access to health care, and work to improve all people's lives, especially those most vulnerable.

With that in mind, we think about what is really on the line for older black and Hispanic Illinoisans this fall when voters weigh in on the Graduated Income Tax Amendment. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our Black and Hispanic friends and neighbors particularly hard, and Illinois' existing flat tax system further threatens their health and financial futures.  

New research from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows just how devastating our current flat tax structure is for Black and Hispanic Illinoisans. Their report shows that Black and Hispanic Illinois taxpayers making less than $250,000 paid $4 billion more in taxes over the last 20 years under the current flat tax structure than they would have paid under the graduated income tax on the ballot this year. Meanwhile, the wealthiest Illinoisans were able to accumulate an additional $7.5 billion in wealth under our current flat tax structure.

We can do better, and we must do better to bridge the divide. The graduated income tax is a step in the right direction.

The graduated income tax will help fix Illinois' budget crisis by raising around $3 billion a year and ensure that Illinois can invest in important essential services. Under the graduated income tax, only those who can afford it – the wealthiest 3% of households – will pay more. Those making less than $250,000 will get a tax cut. Just as important, the graduated income tax does not tax Social Security or any other retirement income.

Vote YES to a fair way forward. Vote YES on the Graduated Income Tax Amendment.

Paid for by Yes to a Financially Responsible Illinois.

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