Taxes Aren't Fair

What happens if we don’t enact a fair tax in Illinois?

  • Millions of Illinoisans will not receive a tax cut.
  • We will remain last in the country for education funding.
  • The gap between expenses and revenue will grow.
  • Lost job opportunities will perpetuate cycles of unemployment and violence.

Economic realities, to be sure, but our faith also speaks to these issues.

The Hebrew books of law put into place a new kind of society, a community built with consideration for those who live in poverty. Members of this new community must leave part of every crop for those who do not have enough food. In the same vein, the prophets called upon the people of God – time and time again – to do good, seek justice, aid the oppressed, and welcome immigrants.

Similarly, the gospels tell us that Jesus instructed his followers to give out of their abundance so that others will have enough. He commended Zaccheus for his commitment to “give half of his possessions to the poor” and to make restoration four times over to anyone whom he had defrauded. (Luke 19:1-10) Jesus also condemned religious leaders who “devour the homes of widows while saying loud prayers,” (Luke 20:47) demonstrating that he, too, wanted a community built on ending poverty and inequality and creating justice for all.

What happens if we don’t enact a fair tax in Illinois?

People who live in poverty will continue to pay a higher portion of their incomes on taxes than wealthier persons. And, middle-income families who are at-risk of slipping into poverty will continue to struggle to cover their basic needs.

Right now, we have the opportunity—indeed, the momentum—to act for tax fairness. The House and Senate resolutions for a constitutional amendment for voters to consider on the November 2014 ballot must be approved by the General Assembly on or before May 1, 2014 by a three-fifths majority. We are less than eighty days away from that critical vote.

We urge you to join the fair tax campaign and bring others along with you. RSVP now to attend the Faith Leaders Prayer Service and Press Event on February 25, 2014 at 10:15 a.m. at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple. Use this flyer to encourage others in your church to come as well. Make plans to attend our Faith-in-Action Day at the Capitol on April 8, 2014 or participate in one of the A Better Illinois lobby days on March 27th, April 29th, or April 30th.

The opposition to the fair tax is well-funded and strong, but we can make the more powerful argument. Our faith demands that we support a fair tax, one that is based on an individual’s ability to pay. The current system that claims to require the same from everyone, but, in fact, benefits the wealthier members of Illinois is unfair.

Passing the fair tax is the right thing to do. It makes good economic sense, and it grows out of our faith in a just and loving God. Add your name here if you want to help pass the fair tax and we will keep you updated on future opportunities to take action. Join with us, and, above all, pray for this great effort.

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