September 23, 2014

Chicago and Springfield-based Illinois Policy Institute was named one of eight finalists for this year’s prestigious Templeton Freedom Award for its work to defeat a movement to amend the Illinois Constitution and replace the state’s flat income tax with a progressive rate structure. This victory means that over the next five years alone, nearly $30 billion dollars will stay in the hands of Illinois’ families and businesses instead of going to politicians in Springfield. The defeat of the progressive tax was a major victory against an entrenched culture of overspending, cronyism and blatant disregard for taxpayers.

Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman said, "Defeating the progressive tax was a major victory against entrenched political powers, and shows that the freedom movement can make real progress in the most unlikely of places and against all odds. We’re honored to be a finalist for the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award and look forward to advancing the cause of liberty."

Had the statist groups pushing the amendment had their way, families with taxable income of more than $22,000 a year could have seen a massive tax increase. Defeating the progressive tax proposal means the average Illinois family will have an additional $3,200 at their disposal over the next five years.

Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award is named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition. The award is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust and will be presented during Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner gala dinner ceremony Nov. 13, 2014 in New York City. The winning organization will receive a $100,000 prize and the runners-up will receive $5,000.

The 2014 Templeton Freedom Award Finalists are:

Acton Institute: Acton University
CEPOS (Center For Political Studies): Private Property Project
Civismo: Low Taxes Campaign for Spain Campaign
Foundation For Government Accountability: Initiative to Limit Medicaid Expansion
Goldwater Institute: Education Savings Accounts
Illinois Policy Institute: Stopping an Unfair Progressive Income Tax
IPEA: One Million Youth for Mexico Campaign
Lithuanian Free Market Institute: Municipal Performance Index

The 2013 Templeton Freedom Award winner and finalists can be found here.

For media inquiries about the 2014 Templeton Freedom Award, contact Daniel Anthony.