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Madigan, school groups renew call for millionaire surcharge

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

* You don’t usually see Speaker Madigan issue long press releases about legislation, but he did it today…

Pointing to the need for greater assistance for schools across Illinois, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan on Wednesday released a statement on his plan to increase state funding for elementary and high schools:

“With the rollback of the temporary income tax increase on January 1, we are facing new budget-making obstacles. According to the bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the rollback is expected to result in a loss of nearly $5 billion in state revenue each year. With lower revenues, many state services will be in very precarious financial positions.

“Schools in Illinois need greater financial support to ensure our children can compete in a global economy. This is why I am renewing my call for a constitutional amendment requiring a 3 percent surcharge on income over $1 million, with the extra revenue devoted to schools across the state on a per-pupil basis. This change, filed as House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 26, would result in about $1 billion in additional funding for Illinois students, or about $530 in additional funding per student, per year.

“When this question was put to voters in a referendum last November, the results on Election Day were clear. Statewide, nearly 64 percent of all those voting on the referendum believed this surcharge should be implemented. Across Illinois, from Cook County to the collar counties, from northern Illinois to our southern-most counties, voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of requiring a 3 percent surcharge on millionaires. More than 40 counties supported the referendum with at least 60 percent of the vote, and 100 counties supported the measure with at least 50 percent of the vote.

“When I first offered this proposal in 2014, we knew then that Illinois schools needed greater financial support. The tax increase rollback has amplified our schools’ financial shortcomings. As tough as budget decisions have been for many years, they are now much more difficult. This proposal is not a complete solution to our education funding issues, but it is a fair and equitable way to help make sure Illinois schools receive needed funding to help prevent higher property taxes, teacher layoffs, larger class sizes and the loss of scholastic programs and classes.”

* The release followed a press conference by school groups…

A coalition of statewide education advocates on Wednesday called on state legislators to support House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 26, a proposal that would require a 3 percent surcharge on income over $1 million, to direct needed additional funding for K-12 schools. The members released the following statements:

“Every Illinoisan has a stake in ensuring that more investment goes to the classroom, so students get the support they need from their teachers and schools can offer the world-class opportunities that we know can change lives,” said Dan Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, a statewide union of over 100,000 teachers and public employees. “Rather than ask more from those who can least afford it, it’s time that the wealthiest Illinoisans contribute their fair share to fund education. Although this amendment isn’t the entire solution to the greater revenue crisis in Illinois, it is an important element for improving one of the worst school investment records in the nation. Last November, Illinois voters overwhelmingly approved this proposal and today, we call on all legislators to put the actual policy up for a vote.”

“The state’s Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) has determined that the cost of providing every student an adequate education is $8,899 per pupil, yet the Rauner budget proposes $5,782 per pupil,” said Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association. “It is illogical to believe we can allow revenue sources to disappear and continue to provide a quality education to our students. That’s bad math. Our children are being cheated out of their birthright – the opportunity to receive a high quality education. The Illinois Education Association strongly supports this amendment because it is a step toward ending the inequality that occurs when the support a school receives is determined by a student’s ZIP code.”

“Since 2009, state revenue funds for K-12 education have decreased by nearly $1 billion,” said Matt Brue, superintendent of Porta Community Unit School District #202 in Petersburg. “We appreciate the priority placed on K-12 education in the recent budget discussions, but are supportive of a comprehensive, long-term fiscal and tax policy plan. A component of this plan should include an additional tax imposed on the highest income earners.”

“We commend this proposal’s focus on increasing investment in education,” said Jessica Handy, Government Affairs Director for Stand for Children Illinois. “Schools have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the last five years, which hurts the education that our children receive and the professionals in the classroom. Stand for Children supports increased early childhood education opportunities, equitable funding, and support and accountability for all types of public schools – but these strategic investments at their core depend on having adequate funding for our education system.”

“This proposal is an important first step toward restoring the millions that have been cut from K-12 education in recent years,” said Robin Steans, Executive Director of Advance Illinois. “While not a complete solution to our education funding concerns, this proposal can start to move our students and schools toward an adequate base level of funding. Money alone will not improve education or close achievement gaps, however, money matters. Illinois ranks as one of the most regressive states nationwide in how it distributes state funds to schools. We also suffer from some of the nation’s largest achievement gaps between low-income students and their peers. A more equitable funding formula, in tandem with the proposal in HJRCA 26 for increased revenue, would begin to open the doors of opportunity for all Illinois students.”

“Our districts, like others throughout the state, are struggling to maintain a high level of education, while experiencing ongoing proration of General State Aid and multiple-year cuts to their budgets,” said Diane Rutledge, Executive Director of the Large Unit District Association, which represents 55 of the largest school districts in the state. “More than two-thirds of the school districts in Illinois are in deficit spending. Although we do not believe HJRCA 26 is the sole solution to education funding, we do appreciate this effort to identify new revenues for education. This is one piece to the school-funding puzzle. As educators, we will continue to work towards adequate funding and equitable distribution for all of the students in our state in order to complete the puzzle.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

66 Comments
  1. - Goodnewsonly - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    It’s great to see the MASTER put the upstart in his place. Rauner wants to hurt ordinary people while Madigan wants to tax millionaires. Madigan one Rauner zero.


  2. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Rauner said the advisory referendum “doesn’t mean much” back in May. Will he change his tune now if the proposal is on the ballot in 2016 as a constitutional amendment? It would help further his goal of increasing education funding.


  3. - anon - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Public schools in IL will never have enough money. Millionaires have big houses, big houses have big real estate bills, 58% roughly of big real estate bills goes to the public school district.


  4. - archimedes - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Still is going to take a constitutional amendment to get it done. How about income tax up to 5% and an across the board $500 tax credit? That way the lower income (under $50,000 AGI) don’t feel the increase to 5% at all…


  5. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    I’m fine with that. My party can’t keep sticking up for such a small percentage of people and then wondering why we’re under attack for such actions.


  6. - Apocalypse Now - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:01 pm:

    I wonder what the financial impact would be of all school districts and other governmental entities imposing a 0% increase in wages and benefits for one year. I am not aware of any public employees, as a group, at the local level, who have not continues to receive raises over the last 6 years, while many in the private sector were taking pay cuts.


  7. - Compassionate Not Conservative - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:04 pm:

    Even the millionaires at Stand for Children support the idea.


  8. - Jose "Chuy" Feliciano - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    What I like about this proposal is that it doesn’t propose taxing the upper middle class the same as the truly rich.


  9. - Outsider - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:06 pm:

    Does anyone believe the 3% will go to schools…sure, just like the lottery money.


  10. - suburbanite - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    Sorry to be snarky - did Voices for Illinois Children support this? At some point, won’t Diana Rauner have to step down from her not-for-profit post with the obvious conflict of interest?


  11. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:13 pm:

    Does anyone believe that this money would be used only for education? We have seen this movie before.

    And aren’t we already planning to increase education funding by $700M under Rauner’s budget proposal? Would this be in addition to that $700M?


  12. - Steve - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    Don’t tax you , don’t tax me , tax the man behind the tree. The details will certainly have to be worked out. I know of some people who make a lot of money in Illinois that have Michigan drivers licenses. How will Illinois deal with that?


  13. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:16 pm:

    I think it’s a good idea. If you make or earn more money you should pay more in taxes. It’s not that difficult.

    The bigger question is….what do we value as a society?


  14. - Makandadawg - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    “The state’s Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) has determined that the cost of providing every student an adequate education is $8,899 per pupil, yet the Rauner budget proposes $5,782 per pupil,” said Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association.

    Boy it sure would be fun to hold legislators and the Governor to debate just one issue at a time until they get it fixed. I pick this one.


  15. - Concerned - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    “- anon - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Public schools in IL will never have enough money. Millionaires have big houses, big houses have big real estate bills, 58% roughly of big real estate bills goes to the public school district.”

    And that’s why New Trier schools (Winnetka, Kenilworth, etc…) do well. This state revenue would help the poor communities all across the state that don’t have a lot of billionaires supporting the local school with local property taxes.

    Equality in schools helps achieve equality in opportunity to advance. The median income of the town where one is born should not be the largest determining factor in whether you will get the sort of education that will allow you to compete with the offspring of those born in Winnetka, Kenilworth, etc…


  16. - Enviro - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    Last November the voters of Illinois approved a higher tax on incomes over one million dollars.

    Thirty states and the District of Columbia have a higher income tax on high incomes.

    Including the following state income tax rates:
    California 12.3%, Hawaii 11%, Iowa 8.98%, Oregon 9.9%, Minnesota 9.85%, New Jersey 8.97%, Wisconsin 7.65%, District of Columbia 8.95%, Vermont 8.95%.


  17. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    Voices for Illinois Children was Stermer
    Mrs. Rauner is Ounce of Prevention.

    Let’s get our causes straight.

    The real issue is how GOPie Reps in districts where voters said “yes” +70% of the time will duck this time.


  18. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    The issue is this can not be solved with Madigan intervention so simply. They had 5%… What did they pay down? We have seen this movie. As for pay freeze for public schools and state employees..Collective bargaining stops that in it’s tracks. There needs to be real revenue discussions. How many small businesses are hurt by this? The truly wealthy individuals, like Rauner, know how to beat the system tax wise… Not another “Real” solution…As for the teachers and schools standing up for this…Local tax payers are gonna love them some education high salary bashing… Cost shift for pensions anyone? Is that the real end game by Madigan for this?


  19. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Maybe Cinda and Dan could offer 50/50 matching funds from Millionaire taxpayers and IFT/IEA doing a match. That sure would prove they’re serious, wouldn’t it? Their members certainly outnumber the millionaires dramatically. And we’re talking here about taxing income OVER a million at 3% higher. That’s a pretty small club.


  20. - Put the Fun in unfunded - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:29 pm:

    “The inequality that occurs when the support a school receives is determined by a student’s ZIP code” - yes and no. This is true from one Chicago suburb to the next, but between downstate and the suburbs there’s a heck of a difference in cost of living. Why, a union executive’s $230K compensation package wouldn’t go nearly as far in DuPage as it does in Sangamon. They’d be as broke as Hillary Clinton.


  21. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    ==Last November the voters of Illinois approved a higher tax on incomes over one million dollars.

    Thirty states and the District of Columbia have a higher income tax on high incomes.

    Including the following state income tax rates:
    California 12.3%, Hawaii 11%, Iowa 8.98%, Oregon 9.9%, Minnesota 9.85%, New Jersey 8.97%, Wisconsin 7.65%, District of Columbia 8.95%, Vermont 8.95%.==

    And another group of States have 0% income taxes


  22. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    “people who make a lot of money in Illinois that have Michigan drivers licenses.” Michigan and Illinois have reciprocal tax agreements, so Illinois residents to make a lot of money in Michigan pay Illinois tax and vice versa. Of course then it comes down to the question of “residency” which we’ve seen in spades this election cycle.


  23. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:46 pm:

    Lottery two step. Add $1 BIL in new revenue, swap out and reallocate, say, $750 mil in ordinary funding. No way a CA can require other funding to keep pace.


  24. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    @FKA- $300 million brother, $300 million. It comes within $200 million of FY 2009 state funding for GSA and only $200 million below the statutory requirement.

    Minnesota has dispelled the myth that higher taxation of upper income levels hurts the economy.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-gibson/mark-dayton-minnesota-economy_b_6737786.html


  25. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:04 pm:

    =”but between downstate and the suburbs there’s a heck of a difference in cost of living.”

    Not as much as you would think. Housing, definitely. Property taxes, not as much as you would think due to the fact that the rates are usually much higher downstate. Other costs, not so much.

    Incomes, for sure.


  26. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:05 pm:

    Seems like Governor Rauner would be interested in this proposal since he is for shared sacrifice.


  27. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:07 pm:

    =The bigger question is….what do we value as a society?=

    You hit the nail right on the head. It really is the only question.


  28. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    Here’s where horse trading comes in:

    Let’s say that Governor Rauner puts on his best poker face and tries to ignore these calls. Maybe then the IEA and IFT try to haggle over a 1.5 or 2% surcharge for millionaires? That’s better than nothing. I think Rauner’s the kind of guy who’s willing to deal - but perhaps not when the rhetoric is so heated.


  29. - Retired - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    Why not revise the whole tax issue with an amendment for a progressive income tax?


  30. - Kodachrome - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:21 pm:

    Great idea. I fully support Madigan on this. Now, what is he willing to GIVE to GET it? If the answer is nothing, I don’t see how anyone here allows this guy (MJM) off the hook for the budget mess of the last 20 years??


  31. - Enviro - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    ==Great idea. I fully support Madigan on this. Now, what is he willing to GIVE to GET it? —

    Madigan has a veto proof Democratic majority in both houses of the General Assembly. He does’t really need to negotiate with this advantage.


  32. - Casual Observer - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:36 pm:

    Is there a limit on the number of constitutional amendments that can be on a ballot? I can see the Speaker “filling the tree” with among other things…pension reform.


  33. - Hayek - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    Do these people really not grasp the notion of capital mobility in the age of digital currency?


  34. - Kodachrome - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    = He does’t really need to negotiate with this advantage =

    Then its gonna be a loooooong, hot summer for the GA, Enviro . . . . .

    My guess is Rauner is willing to shut everything down if need be. Unless the Dems want to completely own the next budget, I don’t think MJM has a choice NOT to negotiate. Doesn’t mean he still doesn’t ultimately hold the upper hand


  35. - AC - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:52 pm:

    I’ll bet more than one person would applaud this proposed education funding proposal.


  36. - nothingsurprisesme - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:52 pm:

    When someone estimates that we’ll gain 1 billion dollars from the extra tax are they assuming that none of these people will change their residency to a state with lower taxes? Is there a chance that not only we’ll lose the extra 3 per cent but all the state income taxes that the wealthiest pay?
    While we’re on the subject of taxes… How much would we raise if we taxed the pensions of former state employees? They use the same services I do but pay no state income tax on their pension. This could be accomplished without a constitutional amendment.
    Oops. I forgot. Mike wouldn’t want to upset any state employee or retiree. My mistake.
    How much would we gain if we raised the tax to 3% for those couples who make over 200,000?


  37. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    Charlie Wheeler has debunked the whole “lottery for education” urban legend on these pages many times.

    Besides, it doesn’t make any sense. In FY14, lottery net income was $579 million. GRF for elementary and secondary education was $10.2 billion.


  38. - AC - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 4:56 pm:

    ==Mike wouldn’t want to upset any state employee or retiree. My mistake.==

    Where were you when SB1 was passed?


  39. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:04 pm:

    @nothingsurprisesme- If what you are saying is true (and there is zero evidence to support your canard) then why haven’t they all packed up and left already? The reason is that few people, especially people of means make residency choices based upon that reason. If it were true California, New York, Connecticut and other would be devoid of millionaires and Texas would have them all. It may sound good as a sound bite but the practical application is that the vast majority of people live where they do for reasons that have little of nothing to do with taxes. Minnesota seems to bare that out.


  40. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:05 pm:

    I also agree with taxing pension income over $50K or $75K. No good reason not to do so.


  41. - nothingsurprisesme - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:09 pm:

    Why do they call this a millionaire tax? A millionaire is defined as someone who has a net worth of a million dollars, not someone who has income of a million bucks. Most millionaires don’t get close to having a million in income.

    For those of you who have access to big numbers, how much revenue would we gain if we raised the individual exemption to 4000 dollars instead of the paltry 2125 dollars this year but also raise the tax rate to 6 per cent or even 7 percent? All taxpayers would benefit from the exemption but the wealthiest would pay a higher tax rate. We might be able to do this without a difficult fight for a constitutional amendment.


  42. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:18 pm:

    - nothingsurprisesme -

    If the estimates are coming from IDOR, they are pretty good at adjusting their estimates to account for changed behavior / tax avoidance.


  43. - Federalist - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:23 pm:

    Below is a partial article regarding the shell game controversy of the Lottery. You can read the entire article at the cite I give below.

    Regardless, as far as I am concerned, this only demonstrates that one should wary of politicians who raise special taxes for selected purposes when the money can legally be used anywhere in the budget.

    “Some people call all of this a shell game. “The term shell game is used a lot and that’s really what happened. When they sold the idea of the lottery originally they said all the proceeds would go to education,” says Ben Schwarm. He’s with the Illinois Association of School Boards. He says the lottery’s benefit to schools is negligible, since it’s money the state would probably provide regardless of the source. “It was a net neutral for school districts … It did not supplement what was there - I think a lot of people assumed it would be on top of what they were giving schools anyway,” he says. Schwarm says to this day his organization is frequently asked where exactly money from the lottery actually goes.

    Charlie Wheeler, the former Sun-Times reporter who wrote that decades old article Lang showed me earlier, doesn’t agree that the lottery funding is a “shell game” - but he does say misconceptions abound. “I would say the lottery for me is probably the biggest urban legend that exists in state government … This has been a long persistent legend and it will probably continue forever,” Wheeler says.

    And there’s another thing about this a lot of people don’t realize, says Wheeler. As he reported 40 years ago, the lottery was originally intended to help Mayor Richard J. Daley get the Regional Transportation Authority in Chicago and the collar counties up and running. The political chatter was always that the lottery would benefit schools, but it didn’t even really start out that way.

    Back to the lottery’s Mike Lang. “We are about an inch or two inches the bucket. We’re more than a few drops, we’re a couple inches in the bucket and that’s all we’re ever going to be,” he says. And as school districts struggle to make ends meet, every drop helps. But the lottery only contributes about 2% of what schools in the state get on an annual basis. So just like you probably shouldn’t bank on winning the lottery for your retirement, schools can’t bank on the lottery’s money as a saving grace either.”

    http://northernpublicradio.org/post/illinois-lottery-shell-game-school-funding

    Illinois Lottery: A Shell Game For School Funding?

    By Rachel Otwell • Feb 19, 2014


  44. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:26 pm:

    == How much would we raise if we taxed the pensions of former state employees? ==

    We’ve discussed this before.

    Right now, all pensions, both private and government, are untaxed by Illinois. Social Security is also untaxed. You could tax all retirement income with no problem. You could probably tax all pension income with no problem; you may even be able to add a high deductible on pension income but set it too high and that might start to wander into violating the flat income tax provision. Try to tax a sub-set of pensions, ie only government pensions, and you would clearly violate the flat tax provision.

    And if you were to retain exempting Social Security from state income tax, then you’ve opened the door to a lawsuit from people who only receive a pension but do not receive Social Security due to choices the State made years ago. Might be cause to sue under both the flat tax provision AND the pension clause.


  45. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:30 pm:

    == For those of you who have access to big numbers ==

    They’re all right here:

    http://www.revenue.state.il.us/AboutIdor/TaxStats/

    .. have at it.


  46. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:32 pm:

    Please tell me the logic behind taxing folks with incomes of 50-100k more but not touching people making upwards of 250k. Should we raise the taxes of those making 10-30k and expect great revenue intake? Is there some type of punishment thinking going on here?


  47. - Federalist - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:35 pm:

    @RNUG

    Thanks for addressing that.

    In addition I would like to add that by removing all exemptions we would add $8.356 billion, according to IGPA, of which pensions including SS would total $1.963 billion of that amount.

    But notice the drum beat to tax pensions and if the Civic Committee had their way it would exempt SS and probably anything else that private sector employees get as a part of their overall pensions.


  48. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:45 pm:

    - Federalist -

    $1.9B sounds right for pensions. I remember swaging some numbers from both the Federal Census data and IDOR, and coming up with between $0.8B and $1.2B (at the 5% rate) assuming an exemption around $35K - $50K


  49. - bankster - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:45 pm:

    How will Gov. One Percent and the rest of the plutocrats get by? Maybe they will have to drink less wine!


  50. - Bocephus - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 5:52 pm:

    Why can’t the state just put an extra tax on alcohol sales to go toward school funding? Is it really that hard to create new revenue options.


  51. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 6:20 pm:

    @JS Mill - thanks for correcting that, and for the link.


  52. - walker - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 6:22 pm:

    No one wants to wear the jacket for cuts to schools. Madigan and Rauner will be tossing it back and forth.


  53. - A Jack - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 6:27 pm:

    For me, a higher state income tax makes more sense than a service or some other tax. And my income is in the six figure range. My major tax burden is federal taxes. State and property taxes are miniscule in comparison. So I like to keep my federal taxes as low as possible. I can deduct property and income taxes, but not service or sales tax. So shifting the tax burden into those types of taxes is nonsensical to me.


  54. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 6:45 pm:

    @Wordslinger this would go in the Schock post but those comments are closed. New links to the Ohio group from today
    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2015/02/another-link-in-ohio-dark-money-network/

    ==A mysterious Ohio nonprofit that attacked GOP opponents of Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last year has been linked to a network of political operatives with close ties to Rauner’s own campaign.==


  55. - scott aster - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 7:26 pm:

    Hello FL,TX,AZ those ILL big boys on there way so get those big houses ready.


  56. - anon - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 7:57 pm:

    There are zero GOP votes in the legislature for the millionaire surcharge. It won’t have enough Den votes in the House to pass. So why is the Speaker spending time on a measure he has to know won’t pass?


  57. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 8:31 pm:

    What I would rather see is an amendment to allow a graduated tax. The proposed amendment is too specific and is not the kind of thing I would want to see enshrined in the constitution. Such as HJRCA 8 or 19 or SJRCA 1 or 11.

    I also wonder why Madigan filed HJRCA 26 when it is the same as Ford’s HJRCA 17.


  58. - cover - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:18 pm:

    = Why can’t the state just put an extra tax on alcohol sales to go toward school funding? Is it really that hard to create new revenue options. =

    The state’s current alcohol/liquor taxes bring in less than $300 million per year. You would have to quadruple the current rate to raise as much cash as the Speaker’s surcharge proposal.


  59. - Ghost - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 10:46 pm:

    I am suspicious that the purpose of pushing this is not to actually get this amendment. Maybe it cover? when the budget falls short or there are problems Madigan can say I tried to get more money without impacting the middle class, or something like that.

    As I said before, we don’t need this, just remove all the tax credits for people and companies that earn 1 mil or more.


  60. - UIC Guy - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 4:30 am:

    Having a constitutional amendment to this effect was discussed last summer and early fall. But it didn’t happen–there was just the non-binding resolution instead. Does anyone know the ins and outs of that decision? I didn’t get the impression that MJM pushed very hard for the it to be on the ballot as an actual amendment. If that’s right, it makes it a little odd that he’d start pushing it now, nearly two years before it could be voted on.


  61. - CharlieKratos - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 7:50 am:

    Maybe Madigan wants the millionaire surcharge issue brought up as a possible constitutional amendment so they can also introduce an amendment to nullify the pension clause. If they can get people talking a lot about one, and focusing on that, they’re hoping that people won’t pay attention to the other.


  62. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 8:04 am:

    I like mike someone has to lead the class warfare retorte


  63. - Josh in Champaign - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 8:14 am:

    The income tax increase wasn’t supposed to be used for anything but fixing Illinois’ fiscal hole anyway! This is why we have Rauner coming through with a wrecking ball because they got their tax hike and basically stole it for pet projects, like usual!


  64. - AC - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 8:28 am:

    ==The income tax increase wasn’t supposed to be used for anything but fixing Illinois’ fiscal hole anyway==

    I agree, it’s shameful that we didn’t reduce the vendor backlog and make our full pension payments when the tax increase was in place.


  65. - Demoralized - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 8:40 am:

    == because they got their tax hike and basically stole it for pet projects==

    Except that you are wrong.


  66. - nixit71 - Thursday, Feb 26, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    For those of you holding out Minnesota as the golden model for what IL should be, remember that Minnesota is one of only six states that provides no safe haven for retirement income. Not only is pension income taxed, but Social Security income is taxed at the highest rate possible as well. Minnesota has the 4th highest tax levy on retirees in the USA.

    Conversely, retirement income is not taxed by Illinois. So are you calling for the taxing of retirees as we do in Minnesota?


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