millionaire's tax

Madigan Says Money Can Be Found By Taxing The Wealthy

Jun 6, 2016
Jenna Dooley

The Illinois Constitution says the state can only have a flat income tax rate.

An attempt to change that failed this spring.

So, too, have efforts to reach a bipartisan compromise on a new state budget.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he wants to raise more revenue --- to help balance the budget --- by taxing the rich.

"I have said for the last year and a half I'm prepared to negotiate with the governor to find the money to pay for those services. My first choice in finding money would be taxing the wealthy."

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House today.

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools. 

Illinois now has a flat tax on everyone. Madigan wants a 3-percent additional tax added on income above one million dollars. 

Voters went along with a statewide advisory referendum on the issue in 2014.

Madigan: "It's time to listen to their voice, not the voice of the 1-percenters."

Legislation To Tax Illinois Millionaires Stalls

May 22, 2015
Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

As Illinois lawmakers grapple with a budget shortfall, a measure to impose a tax on millionaires' income stalled.

Adding a surcharge to income over a million dollars to raise more money for Illinois schools was a concept Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan introduced last year, but there wasn't enough support. Now, as Illinois faces a $6 billion budget gap, he brought it back.

"We're simply asking those that have done well in life to help our educational system," Madigan said.

State of Illinois

A non-binding referendum on a so-called millionaires' tax got support from about 64 percent of Illinois voters during the last election. Now, state legislators are preparing to vote on it.

The measure would include an extra three-percent surcharge on all income over $1 million. The profit would go to education.

It's an idea that Speaker Michael Madigan tried to push before, but it was short on votes to get through the House.

When Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged to increase school funding by $300 million, educators seemed unimpressed.

They’re more excited about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposed 3 percent surcharge on income greater than a million dollars. That would provide about a billion dollars to schools.

That move would require a constitutional amendment, but it has gotten backing from a variety of education groups that are often at odds with one another -- teachers unions, school administrators, and everyone in between.

Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

There are three statewide referenda on the ballot today in Illinois.

One asks if the Illinois minimum wage should be raised to 10 dollars an hour for adults. Another, if health insurance plans should be required to cover birth control. The final referendum is on the so-called millionaire’s tax, which would impose an additional three percent tax on income greater than a million dollars.