Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The tax debate has not settled on rich and poor districts. Yet

We advocates of a progressive income tax so the wealthiest pay more than they do now have not done a good job explaining how lower and middle class incomes are, in fact, most people in the state. And that means most legislators represent lower and middle class incomes, so ought to push for higher income taxes on higher incomes because people in districts with lower and middle incomes don't pay higher income taxes.

I started to wonder which districts were wealthier and poorer. Fortunately, the UIS puts out the Almanac of Illinois Politics that lists the median family income of each legislative district.

I went through and pulled out all of the Senate districts. Then I sorted from poorest to wealthiest.

Since the average income is just shy of $60,000, any district with a median family income less than that would benefit from raising taxes on family income above $60,000, essentially.

Who are those districts? Here they are.

34631 Munoz
35334 Hunter
38383 Forby
39115 Delgado
41451 Collins
41524 Ronen
41623 Martinez
41951 Jones
43361 Hendon
43479 Sandoval
43642 Demuzio
43655 Sullivan
44181 Trotter
44569 Koehler
44719 Clayborne
46139 Righter
46249 Frerichs
47399 Luechtefeld
48313 Syverson
48644 Raoul
48921 Jacobs
49156 Watson
50138 Meeks
50527 Sieben
52298 Haine
52458 Jones
52903 Lightford
53623 Dahl
54027 Risinger
55466 Halvorson
55602 Bomke
56081 Viverito
57290 Rutherford
57393 Wilhelmi
58405 Brady
60254 DeLeo
60749 Noland
61571 Harmon
62113 Burzynski
62407 Silverstein
63662 Maloney
64391 Holmes
66997 Crotty
69839 Bond
70923 Pankau
71762 Althoff
71951 Kotowski
74580 Link
80735 Millner
80889 Cronin
81073 Lauzen
85163 Murphy
87664 Hultgren
88700 Radogno
91877 Peterson
92565 Dillard
94302 Cullerton
99857 Garrett
100722 Schoenberg

Interesting, isn't it? Lots of Downstate districts are poor, including Downstate Republican districts. But anecdotal evidence suggests Downstate voters have not yet embraced a progressive income tax, even though it's to their economic advantage. That's a public challenge we progressive tax advocates need to meet.

[Update: typo fixed after seeing it on the front page of Capitol Fax -- thanks Rich/Paul]

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