Lobbyists Pushing Lawmakers for Graduated Tax System

By Matt Rodewald

Published 10/30 2013 09:49PM

Updated 10/30 2013 11:03PM

ROCKFORD (WTVO) -- A balanced budget, and more money in your pocket. That's the goal for the fair tax act.

"We can do this with a fair tax system,” Marla Wilson, Rockford small business owner. “Lower rates for low incomes and higher rates for higher incomes."

The lobbyist group, “A Better Illinois,” showcased its 125,000 petition signatures at Katie's Cup in Rockford Wednesday in hopes getting the attention of lawmakers.

"Our research shows that this is a widely popular issue,” Kristen Crowell, Campaign Director. “77 percent of the residents of this state support it."

However, it’s not that easy. Census data for Illinois shows that a simple graduated tax change would theoretically result in a massive increase of at least 18 percent.

With no direct plan, how confident are lobbyists that their system would succeed?

"Ideally, the principle of this is, yes, the middle class would get a tax break," Crowell said.

Treasurer Candidate Tom Cross says Illinois needs to look in the other direction.

"We have to, not focus on finding more revenue, but learning to live within our means,” Cross says. “We're going to spend nearly $8 billion on pension related items.”

Finding a pension solution is a hot topic in Springfield, but not for A Better Illinois.

"Pensions (is) not something that this coalitions is dealing with." Cross said.

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