A push for a ballot question to impose higher taxes on Illinois’ millionaires failed Wednesday.


Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposed constitutional amendment would have increased the tax rate 3 percentage points on those making more than $1 million. The state’s flat, individual tax rate now is 3.75 percent.


Madigan said the money raised would have gone to public schools.

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“The people of your districts have spoken,” Madigan said. “It’s time to listen to their voice, not the voice of the one-percenters or those who would put profits ahead of education.”


State Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, said this bill is purely a political vote to be used as campaign fodder for the upcoming election.


“This is not a true vote on the question at hand,” Sandack said. “It’s a political gotcha moment.”


State Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, said this bill slows small business growth.


According to an analysis of 2011 Internal Revenue Service data, about one-fourth of the potential tax revenue from a rate hike on millionaires would come from small businesses.


“It’s those small businesses that are going to feel a real impact. It's a real disincentive to them to do more just because they’re going to be taxed more,” Harris said.


The proposal needed 71 votes to pass but received only 68. Voters supported a tax on millionaires on a 2014 advisory ballot question.


(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com)