For years, the state's fiscal crisis has left millions of residents reeling. Many Illinoisians have already lost their jobs, as businesses and social service agencies closed their doors or reduced their hours. And, middle and lower-income Illinoisians have been fleeing the state under the current tax burden and cuts to essential programs and services.
AARP Illinois has urged elected officials all along to find commonsense solutions to ensure senior service providers are paid, vulnerable citizens receive needed services, municipalities are supported, and the state's debt burden is not hanging over our heads.
This November, Illinois residents will get a chance to vote on a commonsense solution to address our budget crisis without shifting the burden to our older adults and middle-class families – the graduated income tax amendment.
That's why AARP launched a campaign in support of the Illinois Graduated Income Tax Amendment this week. Here's where we stand:
- A step in the right direction: Illinois needs a plan to get out of the budget mess it has created, without shifting the burden to our older and middle-class residents. Voting YES on the graduated income tax on the 2020 ballot could help the state raise around $3 billion a year to deal with the budget crisis and ensure funding of essential services that older residents rely on.
- Protects older Illinoisians: The Graduated Income Tax Amendment does not allow the state to tax retirement income, and it does not make it easier to tax retirement income in the future. However, if Illinois doesn't find a way to fix the budget crisis, state lawmakers may be forced to consider adding a tax to retirement income or more drastic spending cuts that will especially hurt those 50+ and their families.
- Only the wealthiest pay more: It's wrong that billionaires pay the same tax rate as essential workers like nurses, first responders, grocery store clerks, and other types of workers. Only those who can afford it – the wealthiest 3 percent of households – will pay more under the graduated income tax. Those making less than $250,000 will see no increase in their state income taxes, and some will see a small decrease.
It's time we take a step in the right direction to fix our budget crisis. That's why we are asking all Illinois voters to commit to voting YES
Enough is enough. Something has got to change in Illinois, and you've got a chance to help Illinois start moving forward this fall. Please join us in demanding change: commit to voting YES on the Graduated Income Tax Amendment.
Paid for by Yes to a Financially Responsible Illinois.