On Tuesday, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability released a report showing that ending the temporary income tax increase in January of this year has actually widened the gap between rich and poor in Illinois and is unlikely to lead to economic growth. According to the study, the wealthiest 11 percent of taxpayers enjoy more than half of the total value of this tax relief. A milionaire can expect to pay almost $37,000 less in taxes this year, while a person making minimum wage might pocket $100 more. Because low-income families spend a much higher percentage of their earnings than the rich, who tend to put additional income into savings, and because most economic growth is related to consumer spending, it's unlikely this tax break will stimulate the economy enough to pay for itself. Meanwhile, the working poor suffer when state services designed to give them a hand up and out of poverty are underfunded because of insufficient revenues.
These are the facts we need to face when discussing the impact of our tax policy on the people of Illinois.
I also spoke to WBEZ's Afternoon Shift about the report, our unfair tax structure and the Rauner budget: