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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jun 11, 2014

Tax Fairness Groups Rally Against Walgreen's Potential $4 Billion Tax Dodge (VIDEO)

Tax fairness activists rallied outside of the Walgreens downtown Chicago flagship store Wednesday morning in protest of possible plans by the nation's biggest pharmacy chain to move its corporate address from Illinois to Switzerland, a "tax haven."

Toting signs reading "Walgreens, don't shortchange America," about 20 activists called on Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. to remain an Illinois company and drop a potential plan to reincorporate itself offshore through a maneuver called a "corporate tax inversion." The move could cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion in lost tax revenue over a five-year period, shows a new report released ahead of today's protest by Americans for Tax Fairness and Change to Win Retail Initiatives.

"If Walgreens relinquishes Illinois roots by becoming a Swiss company, it will not only be a betrayal of the people of the great state of Illinois, it will undermine critical taxpayer-funded services that we all rely on," stressed William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois. "If Walgreens moves it corporate address offshore, it will still take advantage of all the benefits it gets from operating in America. It will still get the $72 billion in annual sales that we give them every year. It will still get the $16 billion that we as taxpayers give them for Medicare and Medicaid."

Quick Hit
Tue Apr 29, 2014

Guest Post: As Lawmakers Make Final Decision On Fair Tax, Illinoisans Deliver Message To Springfield: 'Let the Voters Decide'

The following guest post is from A Better Illinois, an organization "working to restore our state’s commitment to accountability, fairness and a strong middle class."

Senate expected to vote on Fair Tax Act today; citizens from all corners of the state demand a ‘YES’ vote from legislators in both chambers to put Fair Tax on November ballot

An enthusiastic crowd of over 1,000 - waving signs that read “Let Voters Decide” and “Fair Tax = Tax Cut,” while chanting “we want a vote” and “Fair Tax now” – gathered today at the state capitol.  With just 72 hours until the deadline to pass the Fair Tax Act, they demanded lawmakers vote ‘YES’ on resolutions that would put the Fair Tax on the November ballot. A Fair Tax – with lower rates for lower incomes and higher rates for higher incomes – is supported by 77% of Illinois voters.

DeAundra Tunstall, a child care provider from the Metro East area, attended today’s rally and pleaded with legislators to give citizens a vote.  “Please help us fight to put this on the ballot for November,” she said.

The tax relief provided with a Fair Tax would help her clients put food in their refrigerators and purchase other necessities, she added.

Dan Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and a high school English teacher of seventeen years, told the crowd of a recent visit to an East St. Louis school, which did not have enough textbooks for their students. 

“If there are 28 kids in a class, you ought to have 28 textbooks. Those textbooks shouldn’t be ripped and torn, without covers.  Those textbooks shouldn’t be 10 years old,” said Montgomery.  “This is injustice and it’s built into our tax system. It’s built into an unfair, inequitable, and unjust tax system…There’s a solution.  Let the people decide.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Tue Apr 15, 2014

On Tax Day, Activists Urge Illinoisans To Support A Graduated Income Tax (VIDEO)

Considering taxes are on the minds of many today, activists gathered outside of a downtown Chicago post office to campaign for a graduated income tax rate in Illinois.

“This flat tax that people in this state are burdened with right now is totally unfair and makes the poor and middle class pay more in taxes than people who can really afford it,” said Bob Gallie, a volunteer for A Better Illinois.

Gallie was one of a handful of activists with the statewide coalition who passed out literature in Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn St., Tuesday afternoon, urging people to support a “fair” tax, which would implement higher tax rates for those with higher income levels, and lower rates for people who bring in less income.

With the use of the group's Illinois Fair Tax Calculator, activists were able to show people passing through the plaza that they could likely save money on their taxes if the state had a progressive tax rate.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Mar 31, 2014

Durbin, Quinn Join 'Give America A Raise' Bus Tour, Continue Call For Minimum Wage Hike (VIDEO)

Elected officials, low-wage workers and others are ramping up the pressure on Republicans in Congress to support a federal minimum wage hike.

The national “Give America A Raise” bus tour, which backs President Barack Obama’s call to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, made its way to Illinois Monday. The effort piggybacks on Obama's call during his 2014 State of the Union address for Congress to "give America a raise." Obama has pressed Congress to take action after he announced an Executive Order to have federal contractors pay their employees $10.10 an hour.

The 11-state bus tour, spearheaded by Americans United for Change, stopped in Chicago Monday morning and saw support from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and workers' right activists in the state, including members of the statewide coalition Raise Illinois as well as Citizen Action-Illinois

“If you work 40 hours a week and you do a good job, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty, and that’s what raising the minimum wage is all about,” said Quinn, who first called for bumping the state's current $8.25 minimum wage to at least $10 an hour during his 2013 State of the State address.