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Illinois proposes 80 percent income tax hike for millionaires

Michael Madigan
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan
Photo credit: media.apps.chicagotribune.com

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The Democratic speaker of the Illinois House announced Thursday that he plans to lead his state into the same trap California Gov. Jerry Brown led his state — he wants to impose a tax for being a millionaire.

State Rep. Michael Madigan advanced the idea of submitting the issue of a 3 percent “millionaire’s tax” to the voters in the form of a referendum, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Madigan’s move marks the latest in a “class warfare” theme lately advanced by Illinois’ Democratic leaders, including the advancement of a minimum wage increase by the Senate president and Gov. Pat Quinn comparing his 2014 GOP opponent to TV villain Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons.”

The Tribune reported:

The powerful Democratic speaker said the tax hike on millionaires is a way to generate more than $1 billion for elementary and high schools. Madigan based his calculations on what he said are roughly 13,675 millionaires that lived in Illinois in 2011, brushing aside a question about whether such a tax hike might drive them out of the state.

“Well, if they’re in Illinois today, they’re probably so much in love with Illinois that they’re not going to leave,” Madigan told his critics. “We’ve done this because we feel that the millionaires in Illinois are the ones that are better equipped to support education than others.”

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They said that in California also. Oppressive tax and regulation policies in the past have turned once-confirmed Californians into proud Texans and Floridians. Although Brown’s own millionaire tax has resulted in little migration so far, it’s still early. In a free society, people can vote with their feet.

The current Illinois income tax rate is five percent, but is scheduled to drop to its previous rate of 3.75 percent on Jan. 1. A three percent hike on those making $1 million or more would represent an 80 percent increase in state income taxes.

In January, Illinois had the the country’s third-highest unemployment rate, at 8.7 percent; California had the fourth-highest, at 8.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Illinois Democrats’ answer to everything continues to be taking more money out of taxpayers’ pockets,” state Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno said.


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