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Letters to the Editor: Make tax increase permanent

 

The West Suburban Jobs Council is an advocacy coalition consisting of more than 40 community-based organizations formed to increase employment opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged residents in DuPage County. We are asking that our state legislators make the 5 percent income tax permanent to prevent significant cuts to education, health care, public safety and human services.

The failure to make the current 5 percent income tax permanent will have significant consequences impacting the most vulnerable citizens of Illinois, including:

Loss of $2 billion in FY15 and $5 billion in FY16, causing the state’s unpaid bills to increase leading to a further decline of our credit rating.

Layoff of 13,000 teachers, impacting the ability to provide quality education for our students.

Decrease of 41,000 children able to receive child care, causing employment challenges for many low-income working parents and their employers.

Elimination of social services for 13,600 disadvantaged residents, including 500 homeless youth, significantly increasing the homeless population.

Loss of vital services from in-home caretakers for 21,000 seniors. Medication and or therapy would be denied to 140,000 residents with mental illness.

Retaining the income tax rate at 5 percent will not hurt Illinois, as its opponents state, because our neighboring states already have higher rates.

Making the 5 percent income tax permanent will enable Illinois to continue to provide necessary services to children and seniors, so that heads of households can continue to participate in the labor force and provide a living wage for their families.

Illinois has historically had one of the lowest income tax rates in the country. We ask our DuPage County state legislators to do what is best for our most vulnerable residents to ensure that the services they and their families rely on continue, by supporting efforts to make 5 percent income tax permanent.

Barbara Tartaglione

Chairwoman, West Suburban Jobs Council

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