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Madigan schedules vote on millionaire tax hike

Friday, May 15, 2015

* 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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

64 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’m sure our Governor will support this since it is clearly the will of voters.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:05 pm:

    In this administration, when the voters speak it probably means nothing or do the opposite of what they approve.


  3. - A guy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    Schedule a vote on the “who wants free ice cream?” legislation. 100% of the people support it.

    Gimmicks. They catch up to you.


  4. - Very Fed Up - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    Hope this passes with overwhelming support and overrides Rauner. Would put the top rate at 6.75% which is about average nationwide. Hopefully the next election cycle will offer a democrat willing to commit to an all out effort to a true graduated income tax


  5. - walker - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:09 pm:

    A significant number of voters signed a petition for Term Limits, and no one doubts it would be popular at the polls as well.

    So Mr. Speaker and Brownie: Don’t even pretend that this is simply about the will of the people, unless you bring the Term Limits ballot initiative bill along with it.

    To me this “all in” battle by MJM, signals that he sees Rauner as “all in” as well.

    Had hope that this wouldn’t get too awful bloody, but that hope is gone.


  6. - How Ironic - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:10 pm:

    Waiting for the hyperbolic rantings of some armchair economist warning of an impending exodus of millionaires from Illinois.

    Actual impact….no one moves out of state on the basis of one incremental tax burden of up to 3%.

    That’s the equivalent of someone handing you a million $$, and declining because you’d have to pay $30,000 to keep it.

    3…2…


  7. - Anonymous - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Why wouldn’t the money go to pension problem?


  8. - Wensicia - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:13 pm:

    How much money will Rauner’s Millionaires Club contribute to “No” votes on this measure?


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:14 pm:

    “There goes another $400K… ” - Gov. Rauner


  10. - Aldyth - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:14 pm:

    Madigan sure isn’t letting up, is he?


  11. - Shemp - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    I am with 2:12, if the last hike was for pensions and we have no solution, why wouldn’t the increase go to pay for pensions? Oh, because “it’s for the kids” is much more salable, you say?


  12. - How Ironic - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    Which of Rauners ‘must vote yes’ bills is this one again?


  13. - walker - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    ===Would put the top rate at 6.75%, which would be about average nationwide.===

    – and competitive with many of our competitors for jobs, like Wisconsin.

    We do after all have a fiscal crisis which will take all kinds of serious steps, both on spending and revenues to fix. Still an “all of the above” kind of answer to that question.

    It is always a tough vote to raise a tax rate, including for Dems, and will always be used against you politically.

    Games aside, this should be a Yes vote for the state.


  14. - Bill White - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    Q: Why wouldn’t the increase go to pay for pensions?

    A: Perhaps this new revenue will provide cover for the TRS pension cost shift onto local school districts.


  15. - Arsenal - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==A significant number of voters signed a petition for Term Limits==

    That’s…quite different than a majority voting for a resolution.


  16. - Anonymous - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    I hope the GOP is present to defend the job creators


  17. - Jack Stephens - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    End gerrymandering and you have term limits.


  18. - walker - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    Bill White: bingo


  19. - Frenchie Mendoza - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:26 pm:

    This might get confusing for the GOPers.

    Do I vote “no” or “present” — or, wait — do I need an excused absence?


  20. - walker - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    Jack Stephens: Please take a moment to ponder that under any new map, 80% or more of Districts in Illinois would still not be competitive, based on how party voting patterns occur geographically.


  21. - Filmmaker Professor - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:29 pm:

    IPI puts out a press release that all the millionaires will move out of state (to Indiana!) if this passes, in 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 …. 1


  22. - Madison - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    The state is also in need of an estate tax on amounts over $1,000,000 as well. As the government printed the stuff, when you die wealthy it all goes back to Springfield and Washington as a form of eminent domain if not already donated to charity.
    Note to BVR: Bruce VonRauner, the Kenilworth Polo club is not a charity, nor is the Chicago Yacht Club.


  23. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:31 pm:

    Hey, someone has to govern Illinois, and the new guy isn’t working out any better than the last three.


  24. - walker - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:31 pm:

    Anonymous 2:20

    LOL That’s close to Michelle Flaherty quality.


  25. - Phil - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:31 pm:

    Have Franks and Drury switched to “yes,” or has a Republican or two jumped on board? Otherwise, this is another show vote.


  26. - Filmmaker Professor - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:33 pm:

    Yep, just another gimmick. We need to get back to the serious proposals, like firing all the state workers.


  27. - crazybleedingheart - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:35 pm:

    ==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.==

    WOW, I haven’t been clicking on the daily updates in some time. I guess the Turnaround Agenda HAS suddenly taken off! The Turnaround Resolution must be popular like wildfire - looks like there really isn’t a sizeable corner of the state that isn’t on board!

    Hmmm? What’s that?

    OOOOhhh.

    (whispering) That isn’t very nice…I think this one might hurt the governor’s feelings a little.


  28. - UIC Guy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    I guess the millionaire tax is better than the status quo, but it’s a poor substitute for a real graduated income tax.

    I think I should pay more tax, and would be willing to do so if others who are as well off as I am, or better, also had to pay more tax. I also think that there are lots of people who make less than the median wage in the state who should pay less.

    On any reasonable version of a graduated tax, the number of people paying less would exceed the number paying more.

    Other states manage this. Why is this so hard here?


  29. - zonz - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    gimmick?
    “Madigan schedules vote on millionaire tax hike”

    ===> Will HGOP be “ordered” to vote *P*? *N*?

    ===> How many HGOP won’t vote as ordered?

    ===> How many HGOP will vote *Y*?
    —————————-

    - A guy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    Schedule a vote on the “who wants free ice cream?” legislation. 100% of the people support it.

    Gimmicks. They catch up to you.


  30. - State employee - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    Here, have a heaping helping of hot apple turnaround.


  31. - A guy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    I’m with Walk further up.
    Term limits would pass with much greater numbers than a Millionaire’s tax.

    The biggest joke here is that it wouldn’t come close to making a difference. The biggest irony being who some of those millionaire’s are.

    This is dopiness and it distracts from real solutions. But by all means have fun. Someone should.


  32. - Cassandra - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:03 pm:

    I’m all for progressive taxation, but how is this not a violation of the flat tax provision of the constitution?


  33. - How Ironic - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    @ A guy -
    “This is dopiness and it distracts from real solutions. But by all means have fun. Someone should.”

    Maybe you should tell Rauner to begin governing, and they can get to ‘real solutions’. But up till now, it appears he has no real appetite for governing. But rather just shouting platitudes, and moving around the state like he’s still running for office.


  34. - Anon. - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    ==I’m all for progressive taxation, but how is this not a violation of the flat tax provision of the constitution?==

    It’s a constitutional amendment.


  35. - Gooner - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:11 pm:

    Our budget is so bad that the only things left to cut are funding for autistic kids and kids with HIV, and the GOP is objecting to a 3 percent increase on incomes over a million?

    Are they just anti-sick children, or do they just think millionaires are more important?

    Given the choices as presented by Gov. Rauner, this seems like a simple issue. Rauner says that the only thing left to cut is funding for sick kids. While he won’t admit that we need more revenue, what else can be done?


  36. - RNUG - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    While I’m in favor of it, without being a proposed Constitutional Amendment subsequently approved by the voters, does anyone believe it will hold up on court when the millionaires sue over it violating the Flat Tax provision?


  37. - John Parnell - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    While a tax on millionaires and an estate tax should be on the table, the Tribune has a front page lead in to the idea of taxing pensions. Truly in the spirit of pleasing Rauner. No mention of taxing the upper class of course.


  38. - Gooner - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:13 pm:

    “This is dopiness and . . .”

    I thought the plan was to ban versions of that word. The system may need to be tweaked.


  39. - The Whole Truth - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:13 pm:

    Will it drive out “millionaires”? Probably some, and certainly isn’t an inducement to attract any to move here. Hence, it represents no expansion of the tax base, and likely some reduction.
    Coupled with the fact it’s earmarked for new spending rather than debt reduction, we’ll be going further in the hole. That’s something the credit rating agencies will note.
    At some point, all the non-millionaires are going to have to pay even more to make up for what this should be going toward. Will be interesting to see if the $1B a year actually materializes.


  40. - RNUG - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:14 pm:

    Oops … just saw someone answered while I was typing.

    I assume the only reason to pass the Millionaire’s Tax as opposed to a progressive tax is the politics … not as likely to have the votes for progressive tax?


  41. - Forgotonia - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    That’s nice if schools get the money, but please don’t make it like the lottery money for education. We’re giving you new money, but we’re not going to fund you fully. In other words, don’t make it a three card monty with the future of funding for districts across the state.


  42. - Precinct Captain - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    ==- walker - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 2:09 pm:==

    Voters actually voted for this, not signed an unconstitutional petition.


  43. - Langhorne - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:20 pm:

    Pass it, give the money to local schools, then:

    –transfer teacher pensions to them and/or

    –reduce other funding ala lottery


  44. - Soccermom - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:34 pm:

    i love that the Speaker is giving a master’s class in the legislative process. Nice.


  45. - Cassandra - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    Oops. Thanks, Anon3:08. But I don’t know. It all seems a little too easy. How many tax increases can politicians of either party reasonably implement over the short term. We’re also hearing talk of a tax on retirement income, a real graduated income tax, and the resumption of Quinn’s temporary tax. Not to mention property tax increases for Chicagoans. How many tax increases are feasible.Is the “millionaire’s tax” the best pick for the state?


  46. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:37 pm:

    Don’t forget who killed our chances at a constitutional convention a few years back… Madigan…. A 3% surcharge vs an actual graduated tax system is a bit of a joke. But should I really look a gift horse in the mouth…? Well I am.


  47. - A guy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===Gooner - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:13 pm:

    “This is dopiness and . . .”

    I thought the plan was to ban versions of that word. The system may need to be tweaked.===

    Rich made an exception for dealing with you. God love that man! lol/s

    It’s not in a context of calling somebody something; it’s describing a process. That orange cross-belt is going to your head man.


  48. - Gooner - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    A Guy, some of us have higher standards. If “dopiness” is the best you can do, well, that’s unfortunate.

    In any case, given that you apparently prefer cuts to programs to HIV positive kids than to have people over $1 million pay a bit more, people can decide which plan really is the bad one.


  49. - Ghostbusters - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    The underlying problem that state income tax is tied to Federal will still exist.

    Many (not all and maybe not even most) “millionaires” bring in money through capital gains or dividends, not a paycheck per se.


  50. - Juvenal - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:53 pm:

    Ducky: the campaign against a convention was jointly funded by the chamber of commerce and labor. Try again.

    I think this is probably the roll call Republicans should dread the most.

    In a few weeks or a few months, every single one of them will be voting to gut core state programs like autism again.

    Those are really tough votes to defend.

    But they are even tougher to defend - I would say impossible - when coupled with a vote against taxing people making over a million a year.

    And then, try imagining to defend that when your campaign coffers are being stuffed with cash by the richest men in Illinois.

    I would not want to be them because OW is right: at the end of the day the HGOP are just a bunch of sprockets in a machine to Rauner. Is he really gonna lose sleep if this little political experiment fails and a few of th get picked off?


  51. - JS Mill - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:58 pm:

    =Pass it, give the money to local schools, then:

    –transfer teacher pensions to them and/or

    –reduce other funding ala lottery =

    Right…so you are advocating more of the same? Yeah, that has worked so well to date. Moving on…


  52. - Kevin Highland - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:03 pm:

    I’ve never liked the concept of graduated taxes. Just because I have more pies I shouldn’t be required to pay a larger percentage of my pies in tax. Raise the flat tax on everyone. If you are worried about the poor/middle class then raise the exemption amount.

    I’m pretty sure that can all be done without a constitutional amendment. All of the taxpayers of Illinois have “enjoyed” the artificially low tax rate while the legislature used the pension payments as part of the general revenue. Perhaps all the taxpayers should help to pay the credit card.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===I would not want to be them because OW is right: at the end of the day the HGOP are just a bunch of sprockets in a machine to Rauner. Is he really gonna lose sleep if this little political experiment fails and a few of th get picked off?===

    Maybe the Speaker is trying to teach that lesson to help Durkin and his Caucus realize it before its too late on the Budget?

    The HGOP is 47 “green lights” or “yellow lights” or whatever Christmas Bulb Rauner wants lit.

    That’s real. That’s as honest as it gets. Rauner and the millisecond he threatened with the $20 million and problems… Rauner made the 47, and the 20 in the Senate… the absolute cost of freight, no free rides.

    Amateur/Rookie mistake. Why would Cullerton or Madigan let one GOP member off the hook?

    They wouldn’t, that’s political malpractice.

    Rauner made a mistake, then doubled-down by funding the mistake to make it real.

    They are now all colored bulbs; Red, Green, even Yellow, whatever Rauner commands… after he donates $4-8K…


  54. - Minnow - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    It seems to be a good way for them to take their part in the “shared sacrifice.” Sure beats what you’ll get out of my 15 thousand a year pension.(that I’m not adverse to paying)


  55. - A guy - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:27 pm:

    === Gooner - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    A Guy, some of us have higher standards. If “dopiness” is the best you can do, well, that’s unfortunate.

    In any case, given that you apparently prefer cuts to programs to HIV positive kids than to have people over $1 million pay a bit more, people can decide which plan really is the bad one.===

    Yeah, that’s what I said.NOT. In all seriousness, I’d like you to pay more.

    That’s the rationale here, isn’t it?


  56. - Anonymous - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:38 pm:

    unconstitutional waste of time.


  57. - Gooner - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:41 pm:

    A Guy,

    The rational is that people who make more can afford a bit more.

    For about 10 years, my income was between 400,000 and 500,000. During those years, I paid more in federal income tax. Given the fact that I was doing very well, it made sense for me to pay more. I never complained.

    I’ve since cut back my work, but if the Speaker wants to reduce the limit to $300,000 [sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t the past few years], I’d be perfectly happy paying an extra 3%, particularly if it means that autistic kids can get the care they need.

    How about you? If you make $300,000, will you give up a few bucks to restore some of Rauner’s cuts?


  58. - walker - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:42 pm:

    I’m not for Term Limits or against a higher tax rate. I’m just sick and tired with the self-righteous language. This is bloody political warfare at this point. Nothing to be proud of


  59. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:50 pm:

    Anon 4:38:

    It’s a Constitutional Amendment, and perfectly constitutional.

    If you are gonna make drive-by posts like that, at least slow down enough to read the Burma-Shave signs.

    Durkin’s targets should vote Yes and let Radogno kill this one.


  60. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 4:58 pm:

    It is worth remembering too that unlike sales taxes, property taxes, and the slough of fees that seem to get jacked up every year, you can deduct your state income taxes from your taxable gross income for federal tax purposes.


  61. - Enviro - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 5:02 pm:

    Speaker Madigan is looking more every day like the adult in the room.


  62. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 5:08 pm:

    Enviro:

    As someone else mentioned, he deserves credit for his willingness to work with the governor, keeping his powder dry, and recently restated his desire to work cooperatively.

    That said, it’s May 15 and a lot of people are depending on the legislature to pass more than talking points.

    And even though it would really put Republicans behind the eight ball to try to come up with enough votes after May 31, Madigan knows to avoid that if possible.

    Christmas trees are really expensive in June.


  63. - Federalist - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 5:13 pm:

    The motto of far too many “Tax he and thee, but not me”


  64. - nona - Friday, May 15, 15 @ 9:27 pm:

    == Don’t forget who killed our chances at a constitutional convention a few years back… Madigan…. ==

    The voters rejected Con-Con in 2008, not the Speaker. Leaders of both parties were opposed, as well as business and labor, liberals and conservatives. Let’s not rewrite history here.


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