* As you probably know by now, House Speaker Michael Madigan has withdrawn his idea to slap a three point surcharge on income over a million dollars. SJ-R…
Although Democrats hold 71 seats in the House, not all of them were on board with the amendment. Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, issued a statement that he would vote “no.”
However, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown laid blame for the amendment’s failure at the door of Republican House members.
“The speaker decided this morning, because the Republicans have opted to protect and prefer the millionaires over schoolchildren in every region of the state, that pretty much brings to an end the effort to pass the millionaires amendment for this cycle,” Brown said. “I’d say an overwhelming number of Democrats are supporting this. The fact you could get zero support from Republicans who are opting to protect the millionaires is what doomed the prospects.”
In a statement, Drury said he was troubled by the “piecemeal approach” being used to address the state’s fiscal woes.
“The proposed tax increase falls far short of addressing the full landscape of budget issues that Illinois currently faces,” Drury said.
[Rep. Jack Franks] expressed similar concerns.
“The addition of a tax on incomes over $1 million, without the planned reduction in baseline rates, and absent reforms to our tax-incentive and corporate tax policies, would simply drive a stake through the heart of our state’s economy, and I cannot support it,” Franks said. “Taking more from taxpayers will simply accelerate our state’s economic decline.”
* More from Franks…
Franks, D-Marengo, said he told Madigan on Monday that he could not in good conscience support the amendment to impose a 3 percent tax on annual incomes greater than $1 million. He went public with the decision shortly after Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, did the same.
Franks had told the Northwest Herald in a March 21 interview that he was open to putting it on the ballot to let voters decide. But on Wednesday he cited Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget address five days later, in which Quinn asked to make the temporary 67 percent tax increase permanent, as one of the catalysts to make him change his mind.
“With Governor Quinn, there’s no taxation without misrepresentation,” Franks said. “When [the millionaire tax] was presented initially, it was before the governor made clear his intention to make the tax hike permanent, or to create a property tax rebate that would in fact cost McHenry County families more.”
But he also said he told Madigan that he felt the amendment was too much a political move. While Madigan said the tax would generate at least $1 billion a year for public education, critics called it a political move aimed at Republican gubernatorial candidate and self-made multimillionaire Bruce Rauner,
Franks said he had heard the same concern from his constituents.
“I think people felt, like I did, that it was a political maneuver done to help a flailing governor,” Franks said.
When asked how Madigan took it, Franks answered, “Not well.”
* Statement from House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…
“I find the announcement by the Speaker’s office a bit confusing. Speaker Madigan holds the 71 votes required to pass his constitutional amendment, apparently support from his own members fell short. There is clearly a bi-partisan coalition that knows we can’t tax our way to prosperity and job creation. His amendment offered no help to the nearly 570,000 unemployed Illinoisans looking for a job. It’s my hope the coalition can defeat the onslaught of job crushing proposals such as a graduated tax and the permanency of the ‘temporary’ income tax on families and employers. Republicans will continue to stand up for the taxpayers of Illinois.”
* Statement from Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno…
“The Democrat majorities and their partner Gov. Quinn always try to blame someone and something else for their record high taxes, record high unemployment and record high government spending in Illinois.
“We are relieved this tax increase that would cost families and jobs has been beaten back. But now we must continue the fight against more Democrat tax increases on families and the businesses that put them to work. The Democrat majorities are still planning an assault on taxpayers that will make their temporary income tax increase permanent, create a tax structure that raises taxes on middle income families, tax soda and raise fees on job creators. That is always their ill-conceived solution to the problems they created in the state.”
* From Americans for Prosperity Illinois…
In a victory for working families and businesses through the state, the so-called ‘millionaire tax’ has been declared dead by Speaker Madigan’s spokesman as Democratic Reps. Scott Drury and Jack Franks declared their opposition to the tax hike.
When Speaker Madigan proposed the ‘millionaire tax’ last month, Americans for Prosperity-Illinois quickly launched a campaign against the tax by airing cable TV and online ads, generating hundreds of constituent calls to priority legislators’ offices, mobilizing activists throughout districts and other grassroots activities to give voice to thousands of Illinoisans who oppose increased taxes.
“Rep. Drury and Rep. Franks should be commended for siding with taxpayers and small businesses by taking a courageous stand against this proposal,” said AFP Illinois State Director David From. “Illinois resident aren’t fooled by the false promises of Springfield politicians, and through this effort they communicated directly with legislators in their district.”