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CTBA experts are available to provide insight, analysis, and data to the press on a wide range of public policy issues. In addition, CTBA disseminates new research and timely updates on policy developments to the media.

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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 14, 2020

The Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois hosted CTBA Executive Director and Roosevelt University Professor of Public Policy for an online presentation about the state budget and what a fair tax means for Illinoisans. 

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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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July 8, 2020

Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-39th) and Center for Tax and Budget Accountability Executive Director Ralph Martire joined Northside Democracy for America (NDFA) for its July 2020 online meeting.   Rep. Guzzardi and Ralph Martire provided an in depth lesson on the Fair Tax-what it is, what it will accomplish, why it is necessary, and how to make sure the November referendum passes.  To watch the program, go to NDFA's Facebook page here. The program begins at approximately 4 min 15 sec.

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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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May 11, 2020Daily Herald

No matter how you perceive the president's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is undeniable: the Trump Administration has turned sending mixed signals into an art form. From the relative severity of the virus, to how best to treat it or when it will be safe to reopen the economy, Trump and his team have made numerous proclamations which are at odds with each other, scientific facts or both. So it's no surprise that it's difficult to pin down exactly where his administration stands on providing federal funds to help states deal with the yawning revenue shortfalls they face due to the pandemic.

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May 8, 2020Politico

Along with watching the presidential contest, the biggest race in Illinois leading up to Nov. 3 is the proposed graduated income tax amendment that could overhaul how our fiscally challenged state raises money.

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May 8, 2020WBEZ

State and local government budgets across America are reeling from the pandemic’s economic blow. What will it look like in Chicago?

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Despite push, some students still lack devices, and some districts aren’t providing data about who’s logging on. 

Illinois school leaders spent tens of millions of dollars within weeks as they scrambled to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and the abrupt school closures it triggered.

In a bid to roll out remote learning plans quickly, officials made rapid-fire buys even before the federal government promised $678 million in emergency aid for Illinois schools. In some of the largest school districts across the state, the bulk of the spending went toward thousands of laptops and tablets.

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April 13, 2020The Daily Herald

During the governor's budget address in late February, he said the amount of state funding for education would depend on whether the graduated income tax amendment passed. The level of state education funding was set through a bipartisan formula approved in 2017 but that apparently doesn't matter. in typical political fashion, especially in Illinois, the ends justify the means.

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