Economic Justice

People and Planet First Revenue Platform

Fair Economy Illinois Principles:

  • We oppose major cuts to social services and education systems; we believe we need to invest in our public institutions, human service agencies, public safety programs and infrastructure.
  • We oppose undermining workers’ wages and retirement earnings; we believe everyone has a right to earn a living wage and retire with dignity.
  • We oppose regressive taxes that place a heavy burden on low- and middle-income families; instead we support raising revenue from those who can afford to pay more, such as top income earners and Big Corporations.
  • We oppose subsidizing extractive, polluting energy industries; we support investing in a new economy with green jobs and clean energy, and a safe, healthy environment for all Illinois residents.

WE CAN ACHIEVE THIS BY:

  • Enacting a Financial Transactions Tax (“LaSalle St. Tax”) – Find out more here
  • Adopting a graduated income tax on all sources of income and raising rates on millionaires
  • Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes, including:
    • Ending Subsidies for Big Oil and Big Coal and tax their extraction activities
    • Capping the Sales Tax Vendor Discount
    • Decoupling from the Federal Domestic Productions Activities Deduction
    • Taxing Foreign Dividends
    • Repealing the Noncombination rule
  • Refinancing pension debt
  • Passing Corporate Tax Transparency legislation

 

Fair Economy Illinois is a statewide alliance that organizes urban, suburban and rural residents around issues that affect the common good. We organize people and money in order to:

  • Limit the power of corporations and private interests in our state;
  • Ensure adequate revenue for the State of Illinois to fulfill its primary functions so Illinoisans may lead dignified lives with strong public education, high quality infrastructure, fully funded human services and public safety, and;
  • Protect our environment and natural resources from corporate exploitation.

 

The alliance comprises four organizations:  IIRON, Illinois Peoples’ Action (IPA), Jane Addams Senior Caucus, and Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside (ONE Northside).

Platform Descriptions

A Financial Transactions Tax (“LaSalle St. Tax”) is a small tax on the trading of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, currencies and derivatives. Depending on the size of the tax, it could raise $1 billion to $10 billion or more. (Current bills include HB106.)

A graduated income tax on all sources of income would replace Illinois’ current flat income tax, which is regressive; a constitutional amendment is required to make this change. This would allow legislators to raise the income tax rates on high income earners. A 3% surcharge on millionaires (Millionaire’s Tax) would raise $1 billion. Progressively taxing high-income retirement income (on income greater than $50,000) would generate ~$600,000. (Current bills include HJRCA0026 (Millionaires Tax); HJRCA008/SJRCA001 (Graduated Income Tax).)

Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes

  • Ending subsidies for Big Oil and Big Coal and applying a 6% severance tax would generate ~$200 million that could be invested in creating green jobs in extraction zones.
  • IL businesses keep a portion of the sales tax they collect for the state. Limiting the Sales Tax Vendor Discount to a business’ first million dollars in sales would generate $115 million in revenue.
  • The Federal Domestic Productions Activities Deduction is based on a federal deduction that gives businesses a write-off if they expand production anywhere in the country. Decoupling the state deduction from the federal deduction would generate $139 million. (Current bills are HB295 and SB717.)
  • Taxing Foreign Dividends, money stored in offshore headquarters and then redirected back to the company in Illinois through dividends, would generate $320 million.
  • The Non-combination rule exempts airlines and financial and insurance firms from filing a single combined tax return, allowing them to hide profits in out-of-state subsidiaries.Closing it would generate $25 million.

Refinancing pension debt requires initial payments toward the pension debt, but then caps payments at $7 billion per year beginning in 2022 and reduces pressure on the general revenue fund. It would allow the state to address its pension obligations without reducing benefits.

Passing Corporate Tax Transparency would obligate publicly traded corporations who do business in Illinois to disclose how much they pay in taxes to Illinois and what loopholes and deductions they use to calculate their tax liability. It is a critical step toward a fair tax code. (Current bills include HB3436.)