Illinois is not broken. As of 2016, we had the 5th highest gross domestic product of any state in the union and the largest percentage growth in real gross domestic product of any of our bordering states. What is broken is our unfair tax system. Because we have failed to effectively invest in our state, we are left with too few resources to effectively serve the taxpayers. We need a fair tax system that works in the 21st century.

The majority of our citizens feel that taxes are too high. And for most of them they are. That is because the tax burden (the cost of state and local income taxes as a percent of a person’s income) can be as much as twice as high for working class taxpayers as for those with incomes over $1.5 million.

As the state has struggled under a structural deficit (the difference between the cost of providing core services and the available revenue), it has placed more of the responsibility for critical services, such as schools, on local communities. This has caused local real estate taxes to become some of the highest in the nation.

We will never be able to invest in our people and infrastructure as long as this situation continues.

Ann supports fixing the problem with a fair tax system that makes effective use of the growing resources of our state. That means reversing the current system that heavily burdens working class wage earners while relieving wealthy investors of from paying their fair share. That means a system in which the state picks up its share of public services, allowing a reductions in local taxes.

Fixing the problem requires finding ways to graduate the income tax system. It also requires bringing revenue in from growing sections of our economy such as services through redesigning the sales tax. And it means tapping potentially new sources of revenue such as legalized marijuana.