Mary Rita Luecke issued a bold package of proposals that will add sufficient revenue for Illinois to meet it commitments and obligations to the state’s residents, businesses, service providers and bond-holders. The package will increase revenue but not further burden working and middle class families with additional taxes.
The package includes:
- Adoption of a Graduated Income Tax, where the higher your income, the higher percentage you pay in state income taxes to replace our current flat tax system.
- Increased income from sales taxes applied to certain services,
- Increased sales tax from legalization, regulation and sale of marijuana to adults.
- Adoption of a Coal Extraction tax to discourage mining of coal and to support job training and economic development for communities impacted by the shift to cleaner and renewable energies.
- Adoption of a Financial Transactions tax, on trades on LaSalle Street
- Closing corporate loopholes
The cornerstone of Mary Rita’s proposal is a graduated income tax. Illinois now has a “flat” tax that takes the same percentage from each resident’s income, regardless of how much they earn. So the rich pay the same percent as the middle class.
Under a graduated tax, also considered a “progressive” income tax, the more you earn, the larger percentage of tax you pay. So the wealthiest Illinois residents would pay a larger share of total taxes.
Mary Rita believes Illinois has abundant natural and human resources, which are the ingredients of a thriving economy. There is no need for Illinois not to pay its bills, for its kids to look out of state for affordable colleges, for those expecting reasonable property taxes to move away. Illinois has what it takes for its businesses to offer good jobs that support families who can afford to live in safe, vibrant neighborhoods, cities, and towns throughout the state. What we’re missing is the political will to put Illinois back on its financial feet.
Unfortunately, the state’s reluctance to shift the tax burden to those with the most money has left Illinois nearly bankrupt with tens of billions of dollars owed to vendors, insurers, health care providers, and nearly everyone that has done business with the state for the last several years. The lack of adequate state funds diminished the amount of state funds appropriated for public schools, which in turn have forced local communities to rely on property taxes to pay for the education level they desire. The Illinois Constitution requires the state to assume the primary responsibility for public education. But by funding only about 25 percent of pubic education costs throughout the state, the burden falls on local communities to come up with the remainder through local property taxes. In this legislative district we are fortunate that the property tax base and incomes are generally high enough to fund the high quality education people here expect. But even in Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette and Glenview taxes are becoming a challenge for moderate income people to afford, with some moving to other elsewhere in the state, and others out of Illinois.
Mary Rita’s responsible approach to generating new revenue for the state, political independence, progressive social values and decades of experience in the district make her the most qualified candidate to represent the 17th legislative district and bring Illinois back to fiscal health.