October 5, 2020
State Advocacy Alert
Graduated Income Tax Proposal – Advocacy/Social Media Tool Kit
With less than a month to go before the November 3 election, we urge the hospital community to support a key question at the top of the ballot – a proposed constitutional amendment for a graduated income tax, allowing the state to impose higher tax rates on those with higher incomes. Passing this proposal will enable the state to increase the revenue sources it needs to support healthcare, including the Medicaid program; however, without a graduated income tax, it is likely that the Governor and General Assembly will be forced to make major across-the-board cuts in early 2021.
Last January, IHA joined a group, Vote Yes for Fairness, in support of a graduated income tax proposal and issued the following statement:
“The Illinois Health and Hospital Association is pleased to support this critical initiative as a member of the Vote Yes for Fairness Steering Committee. It is vitally important that all Illinoisans, especially the most vulnerable children, families and populations, have access to the programs and services they need, including healthcare. That requires the state to have predictable and stable financing, and moving to a graduated income tax system is a fair workable way to address the state’s financial challenges and needs.”
With the November election just weeks away, and many voters already returning mail-in ballots, activity on this issue, for and against, is intense. To raise awareness about the critical need for a graduated income tax, Vote Yes for Fairness has developed an advocacy/social media tool kit. The tool kit includes several fact sheets and talking points:
- General Fact Sheet (English and Spanish);
- Talking Points (English and Spanish); and
- Talking Points to Counter Attacks against the proposal (English and Spanish).
In addition to running TV ads in many local markets across the state, Vote Yes for Fairness is running a series of ads (click here to see the ads) on digital platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Hulu and a number of news sites. Selected ads include: “Set Things Right,” “Definition,” “Fair Share,” “Upgrade,” “Per Year,” “More Fair,” and “Step Up.”
We encourage members to share these ads on your social media channels.
Vote Yes for Fairness has other advocacy tools, including a Fair Tax Calculator and a County Map that show how individuals and counties would be impacted by a graduated income tax.
In addition, IHA is now sending the following letter to newspapers across the state:
To the Editor:
In the November 3 election, Illinois voters have a critical decision to make at the top of the ballot – whether to approve a question on a proposed amendment to the state constitution replacing Illinois’ current flat income tax rate with a graduated tax structure that the federal government and most states already have. This plan would result in the state’s wealthiest taxpayers paying higher rates, while all others would see no change or slight reductions in their current tax rates.
The Illinois Health and Hospital Association supports this initiative. It is vitally important that Illinoisans, especially the most vulnerable populations -- children, pregnant women, working families, senior citizens, and the disabled -- have access to the programs and services they need, including healthcare. In addition, we all must address health and healthcare disparities that have been starkly exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately devastated communities of color.
To ensure Illinois has a strong, equitable healthcare system that serves everyone, the state must have predictable, stable financing, and moving to a graduated income tax is a fair and workable way to address the state’s financial challenges and needs. Without stable funding, our healthcare system could face deep cuts leading to less available and less affordable healthcare.
As voters return mail-in ballots in the coming days and weeks or go to polls on November 3, we urge a “Yes/Si” vote on the proposed constitutional amendment for a graduated income tax. The health and well-being of all Illinoisans depend on it.
President & CEO
Illinois Health and Hospital Association
Given the state’s enormous budget challenges that have been greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic - including a $7.5 billion backlog of unpaid bills that will continue to grow and an FY2021 budget that relies on $5 billion in borrowing from the federal government – it is critical that the state increase its revenue sources to support healthcare and other important needs.
We hope you will join us in supporting the graduated income tax proposal, and we encourage you to use the advocacy/social media tool kit and urge a “Yes/Si” vote on the proposed constitutional amendment for a graduated income tax on the November 3 election ballot.