* I posted on the ScribbleLive feed earlier this week that Madigan had started advancing this legislation. From a press release…
Encouraged by November’s referendum results showing widespread, statewide support, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan said the full House will vote next week on a constitutional amendment to increase state funding for elementary schools and high schools through an income tax surcharge on millionaires.
“I’ve believed for a long time that Illinois schools need and deserve greater resources to help give students the best education possible, and that more needs to be done,” Madigan said. “January’s income tax rollback is putting greater pressure on schools’ finances and the state’s ability to increase funding for schools. Once enacted, this measure would bring needed relief for students and schools.”
Madigan’s proposal provides for an additional 3 percent surcharge on incomes over $1 million. Based on a five-year average of taxable income over $1 million, Madigan’s measure would generate an estimated $1 billion in additional funding each year. The additional revenue would be earmarked exclusively for elementary schools and high schools throughout Illinois and would be distributed on a per-pupil basis.
Millionaires affected by the surcharge would pay the current individual income tax rate of 3.75 percent on income under $1 million and pay 6.75 percent on income over $1 million.
Illinois voters voiced broad support for Madigan’s measure, contained in House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 26, through a referendum in November’s general election. Statewide, nearly 64 percent of all those voting on the surcharge supported it. 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.
In light of the budget challenges Illinois faces in the coming years, Madigan said the funding would help schools provide needed programs and avoid teacher layoffs while lessening the need for local property tax increases.
“This measure deserves legislators’ approval. The majority of Illinois voters made a clear statement in November that they support this idea, whether they live in Cook County, DuPage County, Jackson County or Montgomery County. Budget decisions have been very difficult in recent years, and they’re only going to get tougher with the rollback of the tax increase. While the surcharge proposal is not a complete solution to our education funding challenges, opposition to this legislation ensures property taxes at the local level will be increased.”