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Forum: Reeder uninformed on tax

Updated: June 4, 2013 6:34AM



When columnist Scott Reeder contends that a graduated income tax would be a bad thing for working-class citizens, those citizens should educate themselves on the topic.

A mountain of credible research and data refutes nearly every one of his points that Illinois transitioning from a flat income tax (same tax for all) to a graduated tax (one that’s higher for those with higher income) would be a bad thing for middle-class citizens.

A recent research study by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability showed that a graduated income tax would result in an income tax reduction for nearly 94 percent of Illinois taxpayers. In other words, taxpayers with under $150,000 in annual base income would receive a tax cut.

Reeder suggests that a graduated tax would further “discourage certain behavior” such as citizens choosing to work and that it would discourage potential business growth. Again, the facts would prove otherwise.

Take, for instance, Reeder’s example of California. Contrary to his assumptions that residents have fled California due to its high tax rate, that state’s graduated tax has enabled its economy to attain top rankings in both job creation and a low level of unemployment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whatever California’s economic struggles, its graduated income tax is not among its chief causes.

A 2012 study by the U.S. Small Business Administration of the correlation between states’ personal income tax rates and business entrepreneurship found “no evidence of an economically significant effect of state tax policy on entrepreneurial activity.”

It also is worthy to note that Illinois is one of six remaining states that still utilizes the outdated flat income tax.

Contrary to Reeder’s beliefs, a progressive income tax does not discourage a sustainable business climate or individual employment. It would lessen the tax burden on the poor and middle class and would be give Illinois a better chance of achieving a sustainable, long-term economic recovery.

Jerry Mulvihill

Alsip

Democrats sold us out

My fellow freedom-loving people, I need your help. My memory seems to be growing shorter by the day.

I had a discussion lately with a “blue dog” liberal friend of mine about China. Being a strong union man, he chastised the “red dog” Republicans,” his new name for moderate conservatives, about how we let China steal our manufacturing jobs and with them much of our American ingenuity.

It seems to me that this whole China issue started with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore supporting China’s membership in the World Trade Organization. I believe they even let the Chinese delegates stay in the Lincoln Room at the White House.

Last time I looked, Clinton and Gore were liberal Democrats, weren’t they? Help me out here. I think I’m correct, but I need to be sure.

Ray Malmgren

New Lenox

Thanks for poison center support

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the 60 Illinois General Assembly members, including the 36 members from Cook County, for honoring the Illinois Poison Center’s 60th anniversary by supporting funding for our state’s only poison center.

The IPC, the nation’s oldest poison center, handled nearly 82,000 poison-related cases from throughout Illinois in 2012 — nearly 49 percent of them involving children ages 5 and younger. In 2012, the IPC received more than 25,000 calls from Cook County alone.

The IPC serves as a first responder for Illinoisans facing poisoning emergencies. The pharmacists, nurses, doctors and poison experts who staff the IPC provide timely poison prevention and treatment services for children, seniors and families through a free confidential hotline.

Funding for the IPC not only protects and saves lives, but it also is a wise and important investment. The IPC receives about $1.3 million in state funds each year, and its work saves Illinois taxpayers more than
$50 million annually in unnecessary medical costs and roughly 35,000 unnecessary trips to an emergency room each year. It’s estimated that for every $1 invested in the IPC, there’s a $13 savings in reduced health care and lost productivity costs.

Dr. Michael Wahl

Medical director

Illinois Poison Center



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