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Metro East mayors join governor to advocate for ‘fair taxes’

Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined nine Metro East Mayors on Monday morning to advocate for what he calls a fair tax plan that gives relief to 97 percent of taxpayers and ensures the wealthy pay their share.

illinoisealPritzker was surrounded by the mayors of Belleville, East St., Louis, Swansea, Washington Park, Cahokia, Fairmont City, Millstadt, Centreville and Venice — several of them cash-strapped communities that have suffered economically in recent years.

“I’m honored to be joined by so many mayors who are great leaders for their communities and who are standing here to fight for tax fairness for their residents,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “The fair tax is about bringing fairness to working families in every corner of Illinois. Too many communities across downstate Illinois, have been forgotten. That’s wrong, and it’s my job to change that. From Carbondale to Chicago and East St. Louis to Rockford, the people of Illinois deserve to be treated fairly.”

The mayors joined Gov. Pritzker at Belleville City Hall to share how their communities would benefit from the governor’s fair tax plan that includes a 20 percent increase in the property tax credit and a new $100 per child tax credit.

“Today, the mayors of the Metro East region are standing behind the governor’s fair tax proposal,” said Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert. “It will give tax relief to 97 percent of people across this state and ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share as we deal with a state budget crisis.”

“We only have a few options to turn our state’s finances around: cut essential government services by 15 percent across the board, raise taxes on everyone by 20 percent or the fair tax plan,” said Washington Park Mayor Rickie Thomas. “Like the governor, I support a fair tax that makes the wealthiest in this state pay their fair share while giving tax relief to the rest of us.”

Cahokia Mayor Curtis McCall Jr. said the plan will help homeowners and working families across the state.

“Wisconsin, Missouri, and Iowa all use a fair tax approach, and it’s time for Illinois to get on board,” said Fairmont City Mayor Michael Suarez. “We can’t afford to continue on with our unfair flat tax while other states do this right.”

The tax plan will benefit taxpayers, including those making up to $250,000, said Centreville Mayor Marius Jackson.

“The only ones paying more are just 3 percent of people across this state – people who make more than $250,000. It’s only fair that we ask those who can afford to pay more to step up to the plate,” Jackson said.

Venice Mayor Tyrone Echols said the plan means a child tax credit worth $100 for each child. “This is an investment in our families and just one of the reasons I’m proud to support this plan.””

Swansea Mayor Mike Leopold said the plans opponents “have been vocal, but they haven’t been specific in how they would provide property tax relief themselves.”

East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks added: “A single mother with two kids in East St. Louis who works hard to make ends meet should not pay the same tax rate as someone making over a million dollars a year. Plain and simple.”

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