01 Oct Down to Brass Tacks on the Fair Tax
- UICUF Endorses a Fair Tax for Illinois: UICUF supports the Fair Tax ballot measure. The vast majority of our members (anyone making under $250k) will pay less or the same while the state raises funds vital to public institutions like UIC!
- The Fair Tax WILL: allow different incomes to be taxed at different rates, like in our federal tax system and 33 other states.
- The Fair Tax Will NOT: affect retirement income, or allow the legislature to do anything they want. The legislature already has the ability to change overall tax rates, and the Fair Tax will allow the legislature to differentiate tax rates by income.
- DON’T SKIP THE QUESTION: The Fair Tax ballot measure requires at least 60% approval on the question itself or a majority of those voting in the election. This means that a non-vote is a “no” vote. Vote “YES” to support a Fair Tax.
- Transparency and Trust: We believe our members will make the best decisions when they are best informed. Therefore, we have included links to the bill synopses and full texts, as well as FAQs below.
Dear UICUF Members,
As voting begins in Illinois, we want to remind you that we here at UICUF believe the Fair Tax ballot measure will benefit virtually all of our members, both directly and indirectly. The vast majority of you, those making under $250,000 a year, will pay less or the same in state income tax with the passage of this ballot measure, while some will be able to claim child and property tax credits. Indirectly, this measure will help the state raise funds urgently needed to support public institutions like UIC, and pay the people who work in those institutions.
There is a lot of information and, potentially, misinformation being broadcast right now about this measure and how it works. We’ll attempt to explain some key points in plain english here, and have provided links to the actual synopses and texts of the relevant bills for your further reading at the bottom of this message.
The Ballot Measure
The most immediately important thing to know about the Fair Tax is that it will be on the ballot in this election. It will require at least a 60% “YES” vote on the measure itself to pass, or a “YES” vote from a simple majority of all those voting in this election. This means it is less likely to pass if people skip the question, which is why we encourage you to vote “YES” and if you are uncertain, to do your research and make a decision rather than skip the question.
The ballot measure language describes eliminating a requirement in the Illinois constitution that tax rates be set equally on all taxpayers. This is referred to as a “flat tax.” The elimination of this amendment allows the state to set different rates relative to different income levels, which is the way our federal tax system, and the tax systems of 33 other states already work. You can see the textual changes in the amendment, per joint legislative bill SJRCA0001 here.
The Tax Act Amendment
The ballot measure, in practical terms, simply eliminates the requirement to tax all people at the same rate. An associated bill, already passed and signed, sets new rates, as well as a number of tax credit changes. This is where the new rates which you can check via the state’s rate-calculator, come from. It is not easy to encompass in simple language, but nor should it be viewed as a blank check or a slippery slope. The changes to tax rates are clear and specific, including the fact that those making under $250,000 a year will pay less or the same. You can see the exact text of the bill, SB0687, here.
What’s NOT CHANGING With the Fair Tax
It is very important to understand that the Fair Tax is specific in the changes it makes, and does not affect most of the ways in which taxes are set. Neither the constitutional amendment (which you’ll vote on this fall) nor the associated tax act amendment (already passed), change the legislature’s ability to raise or lower income taxes as a whole. The legislature already has the power to set tax rates. Likewise, there is nothing in this bill that permits the legislature to tax retirement income or any other type of income. Retirement income in particular is shielded by law, and nothing in the Fair Tax will change that.
The Actual Language
We fervently hope you will vote “YES” on the ballot question, and have laid out above why we feel it is the best choice for our members. It is, of course, ultimately up to you to make that choice, and if you wish to further educate yourself about the changes proposed, we want you to have the tools to do that. Below are the bill synopses (full texts accessible through links at the top of each page), along with the ballot language itself. We’ve also included the IFT FAQ for your review:
Illinois General Assembly Synopsis of Constitutional Amendment (Full text linked at top of page)
Illinois General Assembly Synopsis of Tax Act Amendment SB0687
Ballot Measure Actual Language
No matter what, we strongly urge you to VOTE and do so safely this election cycle. Voting information can be found at the state board of elections website.
UIC United Faculty
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