Here’s the email from the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Note the false characterization of the proposed income tax hike as “approximately 2 percent.”
Tell Your Lawmakers to Support Revenue
for Education and State Services
Support Revenue for Education and Public Services
The governor and legislative leaders are discussing proposals to increase the state income tax by approximately 2 percent [emphasis added].
Public education and state services have already suffered cuts, and the state’s $15 billion deficit will force additional severe cuts if lawmakers don’t act soon.
Lawmakers are also expected to vote to allow a constitutional amendment that would slash funding for education and state services with drastic spending limits. (House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (HJRCA) 61 — aka TABOR, or the Taxpayer Bill of Rights).
Had this amendment been in place this decade, budget experts at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability estimate that spending limits would have forced the General Assembly to make massive additional cuts — between $4.5 billion and $ 7.8 billion — in Fiscal Year 2009.
Additionally, legislators are likely to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment requiring the legislature or any local unit of government to pass pension changes with a 3/5th majority. The legislation would also require local school boards to hire new employees and to approve contracts by a 3/5th majority instead of a simple majority.
This legislation isn’t needed. Currently, under public Act 94-004, any new pension benefit is required to have a dedicated revenue stream to fund it. The same law also requires any new pension benefit to expire after five years. Fiscal accountability for pensions is already in the law.
Please act now. Contact your lawmakers today and tell them to:
- Vote for a permanent tax increase of at least 2 percent to preserve education and vital public services [emphasis added].
- Oppose the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) plan that would place constitutional limits on state spending and force local property tax increases.
- Oppose legislation that would propose a constitutional amendment requiring the legislature or any local unit of government to pass pension changes with a 3/5th majority.
Illinois Federation of Teachers.
500 Oakmont Lane
Westmont, IL 60559
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Of course, taxpayers can call, too. The main switchboard is 217-782-2000. Just ask for your legislator’s office.