Some religious leaders are coming out in support of moving Illinois to a progressive income tax. Nearly 100 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim clergy members attended a vigil in Chicago to call on lawmakers to adopt a progressive tax as a way to solve the state’s budget problems and keep social programs from being cut.
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The Rev. Jason Coulter of Ravenswood United Church of Christ in Chicago believes this is more than an economic issue. “This is a moral imperative is what it is,” Coulter said, “because we are called as religious leaders to care for our communities, and when we have people in my church that are suffering, that can’t access services, when our kids aren’t being properly educated, that harms our community. That tears at the fabric of our society.”
A progressive tax charges higher rates at higher income levels, similar to the federal income tax. Switching from the state’s current flat income tax would require a constitutional amendment.