Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taxing the Poor

From The Chicago Tribune:

A higher sales tax, new property taxes, gas taxes, sin taxes, utility fees, driving and parking rate increases, water taxes--even increased fees on coffee and tea and state fairs and library books!

Why do all new taxes seem to hit low-income people the hardest?

Illinois is one of the few states with a flat income tax rate. Most states have at least some adjustment of the rate as incomes get higher.

In April 2008, the Illinois House proposed a constitutional amendment to double the state income tax on people making more than $250,000 a year. It failed, partly because of concerns about then-Governor Blagojevich's money management. There is no excuse now.

It's the right thing to do. Internal Revenue Service figures show that almost half of our country's income goes to the richest 10 percent of Americans, those making at least $283,000 a year.

Also, the richest 1 percent of Americans pay about 5 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes, while the bottom 50 percent pay approximately 10 percent, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Citizens for Tax Justice. Governor Quinn should consider a graduated progressive tax that would keep middle-income families at their current level and raise taxes only on the wealthiest 10 percent.

Why do all new taxes seem to hit low-income people the hardest? Because it's easier than demanding a fair share from the rich who seem to yell a lot louder.

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