Editorial: Back the ‘Fair Tax Amendment'

Chicago Public Square won’t insult your intelligence by telling you which presidential candidate to pick on the November ballot.*

But it will counsel you to vote yes on one of the most consequential referendums to face Illinois voters in years: The “Fair Tax Amendment,” granting the state “authority to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels, which is how the federal government and a majority of other states do it.”

First, consider who’s opposing the amendment: As a Sun-Times editorial puts it, “Pity the struggling billionaire who fears a graduated income tax for Illinois.”

Then, count Square in with these people on the other side:

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy director of special initiatives Lisa Christensen Gee: The present system leaves the state just one lever “that says we have to turn up the tax requirements on everybody or no one.”
The Sun-Times’ Mark Brown: “What legislators can’t do now … is to make wealthier people pay a higher percentage rate,” so “wealthier people are fighting very hard to keep this change from being made.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Passage of the amendment would do away withthe inequity of taxing working people like they’re millionaires.”
 Planned Parenthood of Illinois Action: “Passing a Fair Tax would mean close to 97% of Illinois taxpayers would see some form of tax relief.”
Self-identified “patriotic millionaire” Dr. Michael Pine: “Tax rich people like me to make our state a better, stronger place for future generations.”
Reader columnist Ben Joravsky: “Vote yes to cut your taxes!

The mathematics of this referendum might give you a headache. But the complexity of the vote count shouldn’t discourage you from making the right call on how to vote:



* Not to mention that Square editorials haven’t had a great batting average when it comes to influencing the outcome of things presidential. But whether you follow this editorial’s guidance or not, don’t vote in ignorance. Consult the Chicago Public Square voter guide for a variety of perspectives on all the candidates and all the issues.

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