House committee approves constitutional amendment for millionaire tax

SPRINGFIELD — A constitutional amendment to tax millionaires to fund education is heading to the Illinois House of Representatives.

Speaking before a House committee Wednesday morning, State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) said when voters were asked via an advisory referendum about a 3 percent tax on income over $1 million, their answer was clear.

“The question was asked would you agree or disagree with the concept of taxing people with incomes over $1 million to help public education, and I believe it was close to 70 percent of the people answered that question ‘yes,’” Currie said.

The actual result was 60 percent voting yes, and less than 35 percent voting against it.

Despite public support, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President Greg Baise says the tax would lead to richer Illinoisans moving out of the state. “I respect the vote of the people that occurred last November. It’s an easy vote to say yes to,” Baise said.

The proposal passed the House Revenue and Finance Committee. To pass the constitutional amendment through the House will require 71 “yes” votes, which is exactly the number of Democrats in the House. Republican leaders have said that no Republicans will support this. The Constitution, as it stands, requires a flat income tax rate.