Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. -Matthew 25:40
Thank you for your work to win approval of the Fair Tax resolution. It was not called for a vote before the May 4 deadline, but we will continue to work for that goal. Long term – the Fair Tax is still what’s best for Illinois.
But – short term – we must ensure that essential education and human services continue at their current levels. Making the current 5% tax rate permanent will stop deep budget cuts – cuts that will hurt children, youth, and families in every legislative district in the state.
You’ll remember that we started the 2014 legislative session with three options: 1) approve the fair tax, 2) extend the current 5% flat tax, or 3) make dramatic service cuts when the flat tax drops to 3.75% as mandated by the income tax legislation passed in January 2011. With the Fair Tax off the table “temporarily,” we now have only two options.
If the legislature does not make the 5% rate permanent, Illinois will lose about $2.4 billion in revenue in FY15 (January through June 2015) and almost $5 billion in FY16. About three-fourths of the cuts would come from early childhood and K-12 education (31%), human services (31%), and higher education (12%).
Illinois is already the 49th state in the nation in terms of education funding fairness and ranks dead last – 50th – in the country in terms of the percentage of state money spent on education. Our children, families, and communities have already suffered from more than $1 billion in cuts to essential programs and services since FY09. Now, if we don’t have the revenue generated by the 5% tax, we will have even more drastic cuts, including:
• 13,000 teachers will be laid off from classrooms
• 95,000 young children will lose early childhood education opportunities
• 41,000 fewer children will receive child care, preventing their parents from working
• 140,000 people with mental illness denied the medication and/or therapy they need
• 13,000 people, including 500 homeless youth, will not have access to homeless services
Send a message now to your state representative and senator urging them to make the 5% income tax rate permanent to avoid deep and harmful cuts to vital public services like education, public safety, and human services – cuts that our communities cannot afford.
Springfield Lobby Day & Rally
Join state-wide advocates on Thursday, May 22 in Springfield to advocate for 5% income tax and to raise the minimum wage. Buses will leave at 6:30 a.m. from several locations in the Chicago area and travel to the Capitol for legislative visits and a noon rally. Transportation, training, and food on the buses are free. See this flyer for more information. Contact Lindsey immediately to sign up.
CRS Phone Bank
If you cannot make it to Springfield, join CRS leaders next Thursday, May 22 from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. as we build support for making the 5% income tax permanent by calling CRS supporters who live in districts with undecided legislators. We will educate our supporters about the issue and urge them to call their legislators. Dinner and training will be provided at the CRS office, 111 W. Jackson Blvd. Suite 820, Chicago. You can join us for the entire time or just 1 hour – every call will help! Contact Ryan to register.
Thank you for all the work you do to stand up for a fair economy in our state!