Fact Check: Ad Misleads Voters About Illinoisans Paying More in Taxes than Millionaires

fair tax ad
Vote Yes for Fairness/YouTube

CLAIM: Vote Yes For Fairness claimed that an average man and woman in Illinois would pay less in taxes in Iowa or Wisconsin than a millionaire thanks to a graduated income tax, or Fair Tax.

VERDICT: False. Illinoisans who make $50,000 per year would pay more in taxes in Wisconsin and Iowa than compared to Illinois’ flat tax system.

Illinois voters will have the option during Election Day to vote for an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would change the state’s income regime to a graduated income tax, where the state raises one’s tax rate when one achieves a higher income.

Illinois currently has a 4.95 percent flat tax.

Vote Yes For Fairness, which favors a “Fair Tax,” or a graduated income tax system, released an ad in August, which claimed that Illinoisans would pay less than millionaires if they had a tax system similar to Wisconsin and Iowa.

The narrator said in the ad:

If she lived in Wisconsin, she’d pay a lower tax rate than millionaires. In Iowa, so would he, but not in Illinois, because we have one of the most unfair tax systems in America. We’re one of the only states where everyone is forced to pay the same tax rate. Passing the Fair Tax would change that; 97 percent of Illinoisans would pay the same or less in taxes. Only people making above $250,000 would pay more.

However, despite Vote Yes For Fairness’s claim, the average Illinoisan would not pay less than a millionaire in Iowa or Wisconsin.

In Iowa, the top tax rate for an individual making over the $73,710 income bracket is 8.53 percent. Wisconsin has a maximum tax rate for individuals crossing the $263,480 income bracket at 7.65 percent.

In contrast, Illinois has a 4.95 percent tax rate, regardless of income. This means that the average Illinoisan making around $50,000 per year already pays less under a flat tax than millionaires in Iowa and Wisconsin, without taking into consideration exemptions, credits, and deductions.

Further, Vote Yes for Fairness neglects to mention that Missouri, a neighboring state to Illinois, has a graduated income tax system in which the highest tax rate is 5.40 percent for those making over $8,424.

Other states bordering Illinois, such as Kentucky and Indiana, both have a flat tax system. Kentucky has a five percent flat tax, where Indiana has a 3.23 percent flat tax.

Further, most Illinoisans making at or around $50,000 per year would pay less than in taxes than many states that have a graduated income tax system, without accounting for standard deductions, exemptions, and credits.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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