CTBA in the News

December 10, 2020The Gate

The Illinois Allow for Graduated Income Tax Amendment—known to its supporters as the “Fair Tax Amendment”—would have restructured the state’s personal income tax from a flat rate to a graduated system that would have taxed people with greater personal income at a higher rate. If it had passed,

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November 11, 2020Chicago Unheard (Blog)

Much to the dismay of Chicago progressives, the state ballot initiative to create a graduated income tax, or “fair tax,” failed on Election Day. “What’s next?” Where’s the money going to come from? Most likely, an across-the-board hike on income taxes. According to Drazzel Feliu, research

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October 29, 2020Chicago Tribune

The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget is projecting a related shortfall of some $6.5 billion in the $42 billion budget for the fiscal year that ends in June. According to CTBA, This is not a problem we can solve with relatively painless cuts — inflation-adjusted per capita state

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October 25, 2020Streetwise

In an interview with Streetwise’s Suzanne Hanney, Ralph  Martire explains the Fair Tax and what it means for Illinois.

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October 7, 2020CAN TV

 

 

Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability discusses the graduated income tax amendment that Illinoisans will vote on in the November 2020 election.

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October 5, 2020The Daily Herald

The Chicago Daily Herald hosted a Zoom Webinar for its executive board.  Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, argued in favor of the graduated tax during a meeting with the Daily Herald editorial board. He said the graduated tax, by raising $3.6 billion from people with annual taxable income over $250,000, would be a foundation for getting public pension debt under control. Ultimately, voters will decide the fate of the graduated tax initiative Nov. 3.

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September 25, 2020DeKalb Daily Chronicle

Ralph Martire is quoted saying, "Nothing in this amendment creates new legal authority to tax retirement income that doesn't exist today." Small business owners with incomes below $250,000 would see tax rates lower than the current 4.95% flat tax, giving them a break during lean years, supporters of the graduated tax argue.

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July 30, 2020The Community Word

On Election Day Nov. 3, Illinoisans will have the opportunity to vote on a Constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax rate to replace the current flat tax applied to all wage earners.

The fear mongering and partisanship are ramping up. Don’t be hoodwinked. The graduated personal state income tax will not raise taxes but will lower them for 97% of Illinoisans.

Ask a child in grade school: should millionaires and billionaires pay the same tax rate as people working three part-time jobs earning minimum wage?

People arguing against the graduated income tax don’t have facts on their side so they manipulate numbers, cherry pick statistics and toss out fear and innuendo.

The graduated income tax is called “the fair tax.” Most states, including those surrounding Illinois have a graduated income tax.

Take advantage of fact-based reporting and research when determining how you will vote. Don’t be misled by these recent blurbs from headlines: “let Illinois crash and burn” and “worst possible time to raise taxes.”

Instead, go to the not-for-profit Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and read the research: States with graduated income taxes are more than twice as likely to cut taxes than to raise them:
https://budgetblog.ctbaonline.org/states-with-graduated-income-taxes-are-more-than-twice-as-likely-to-cut-taxes-as-to-raise-them-67a9603a96f7

 

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July 10, 2020Chicago Tribune

The Paycheck Protection Program, launched April 3, offered loans up to $10 million to help small businesses maintain payroll, hire back employees and cover rent and other overhead as the nation faced mass layoffs and spiking unemployment. For a program meant to help small businesses preserve jobs amid government-mandated shutdowns and the general economic upheaval caused by COVID-19, those zeros can look alarming. In many cases they are also wrong — raising questions about the reliability of the data showing how billions in taxpayer dollars are being used. The questionable jobs retention data has added to the scrutiny of whether PPP money went to businesses that need it most. 

CTBA Executive Director Ralph Martire blames the flawed data on sloppy federal reporting requirements and the highly decentralized application process. Relying on thousands of lenders allowed loans to be processed more quickly during a critical time, but it also meant different banks may have asked applicants different questions.

“The decentralization is not good from an accountability standpoint,” Martire said. “It’s doomed to not be very transparent and not give you much information.”

Still, he thinks the overall program was beneficial and used properly by small businesses that needed it. While the government should clean up the reporting rules, he said, he doesn’t want the program’s flaws to discourage another stimulus package as the economy continues to reel and people continue to lose jobs.

In an interview with Chicago Tribune's Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Ralph Martire said, “I would hate to see the critiques of the misuse of this money by a few businesses get in the way of a better shot in the arm that the economy certainly needs,” Martire said. “The program could just be designed better.”

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June 20, 2020WCPT-AM

Ralph Martire talked with Dick Kay on WCPT-AM Back on the Beat to discuss how Illinois is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on state revenue, what the City of Chicago will face, and potential implications on property taxes, to name a few.  Listen to the program HERE

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