Dear Editor,

We urge all voters to defeat the proposed Constitutional Amendment question that will be on the November ballot. If enacted, this amendment would end our State’s flat income tax and will roll into place a progressive income tax. But we believe there is nothing fair about a progressive tax – a tax that shifts the state’s financial burdens onto the most successful businessmen men and women. Vote No on the Constitutional Amendment to keep our State’s income tax flat and fair.

Illinois’ current non-graduated, or flat, income tax of 4.95% fairly applies the same tax rate to everyone in the state. Compare that to the proposed progressive tax. If the amendment is approved by voters in November, a progressive income tax rate structure – already agreed to by lawmakers – would take effect. This progressive income tax structure divides Illinoisans into categories based on their level of income, and, as income levels get progressively higher so do the tax rates. Under this progressive income tax structure, the tax rates start at 4.75% and go all the way up to 7.99%.

Since the 1970s, Illinois’ Constitution has ensured that all Illinoisans “equally” pay the same income tax rate. This means if the tax rate increases for one person it increases for all—this is fair. But under a progressive income tax, lawmakers can pick and choose whose taxes they raise. With a single bill, State lawmaker can adjust these income categories and raise the tax rates on any and all of us.

Illinois Farm Bureau policy states clear support for a flat tax. This policy, which has been vetted by our members, believes the flat tax is a fair way to tax the citizens of Illinois. A flat tax applies the same tax rate on everyone – no matter their income level. If the Constitutional amendment is approved in November, lawmaker will impose varying tax rates based on how successful you are as an individual or as a corporation.

Let’s keep Illinois’ income tax fair. Vote NO on the proposed Constitutional Amendment.


Allen Rutan