A group of activists is working to end Illinois' flat income tax. They say they have gathered more than 150,000 signatures so far, and are making their case to Illinois lawmakers. Income in Illinois is taxed at a uniform 5%, whether you are working at a drive-thru window or are the CEO of a multi-national corporation. The people pushing what they call a "fair tax" would have wealthy people pay more, while middle and lower income people would pay less. That is already how federal income taxes work. John Bauman, with the Shriver Center on poverty law, says the change would be good for businesses in Illinois. He points to state-funded education, road building, and health care.
"Businesses care a lot more about that stuff than they do about the marginal tax rates that their highest paidexecutives are going to have to pay."
61 state lawmakers have signed on, all Democrats. Changing the Illinois Constitution would require extra votes to pass. Republican leaders say they are opposed to a graduated income tax. They say it will lead to more government spending.
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