SPRINGFIELD - Millionaires in Illinois could be paying an additional 3 percent tax on adjusted gross income above $1 Million next year "because they're in a better position" to contribute to the state's struggling education system.
Last week, House Speaker Mike Madigan introduced a constitutional amendment that would need 71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate in order to get on the November ballot for voter approval.
Madigan said he wasn't concerned about Illinois' 13,617 millionaires leaving the state en masse if the measure was adopted to the state's constitution.
"If they're still in Illinois, they're so in love with it, they're not going to leave," he said.
Madigan admitted to reporters that "in a good year" he, as Illinois' House Speaker and co-owner of a prominent law firm in Chicago, would be subject to the tax he intends to impose on the state's wealthiest.
"Am I a millionaire? In a good year, I'd be subject to this," Madigan said.
The proposal will raise $1.050 Billion for preschool and elementary level students, Madigan said. The funds would be distributed on a per student basis, amounting to $550 per student. He expects the bill to have bipartisan support, especially among Republicans who don't have millionaires living in their districts.
The legislature is considering three other state tax code changes, including switching to a progressive income tax system, adding a corporate income tax and continuing the 2011 67% income tax hike that was intended to end in 2015.