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Fool me twice?

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

Democrats are pushing the Fair Tax amendment as the path to a tax decrease for more than 90 percent of households. But they’re ignoring an inconvenient truth that, for most people, income taxes would increase above the rate already written into state law for 2015. 

Lawmakers want a constitutional amendment that would replace Illinois’ flat income tax with graduated rates tied to income brackets. But, by the law, the personal rate falls on Jan. 1 from 5 percent to 3.75 percent.

The proposed legislation to set rates in future years, taxpayers would pay 2.9 percent on income up to $12,500, then 4.9 percent on income up to $180,000, and 6.9 percent on income above that.

The Democrats compare the 4.9 percent rate they want most households to pay to the 5 percent rate that all of us will pay through December 2014.

But remember, these rates would replace the flat 3.75 percent rate that’s already law for 2015. That 4.9 percent rate for 2015 is 30 percent higher than the 3.75 percent rate set for 2015. In other words, instead of being able to keep more of your income next year when the “temporary” tax expires, you’d keep sending it to Springfield.

Democrats want to make permanent hefty increases in income tax rates; rates Democrats insisted would be “temporary” when they passed them in 2011. If anybody says: “Almost all of you would pay less under our Fair Tax,” then it’s fair to ask: Is that a promise? Like the income tax increase you promised would be “temporary”?

It’s graduated rates, not fixed.

Robert Meale


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