Illinois is now being inundated with ads, social media and op-eds urging a yes vote for the Fair Tax by making the following claim over and over again:
“If Illinois passes the Fair Tax 97% of Illinoisans will pay the same or less in taxes. Only people making above $250,000 will pay more.”
No. There is nothing about rates in what you will vote on. Springfield would be free to increase rates at any time on any income group if the measure passes.
Decide what you want about the “Fair Tax” ballot initiative in November’s election, but is it too much to ask for an honest debate?
The ballot initiative only asks whether the Illinois General Assembly and governor should get unrestricted authority to set different rates for different income groups. Today, a single rate is required for all taxpayers.
Springfield has already set what would be the initial rates at the levels claimed above, but if Illinois votes yes Springfield would be free to change those rates on day one and as often as it wants, for as many different income groups as it wants.
One example of the deceitful ads is linked here. It’s being run by the Vote Yes For Fairness committee, into which Governor JB Pritzker has already poured over $56 million. Similar claims are appearing constantly.
It’s particularly maddening to see the deceitful claim made in a mailing sent by the state itself, at taxpayer expense, apparently to all voters, from the Secretary of State. It contains arguments for and against the proposal including a rebuttal about the rates, but the arguments in favor repeat the misleading claim twice. The relevant pages are reproduced below.
Wirepoints will continue to publish both sides of the debate, but make no mistake: A yes vote would not assure the rates being claimed.