The sponsor of a bill to tax certain financial transactions says it would help Chicago Public Schools, but the governor is adamantly against the proposal.
Democratic Representative Mary Flowers said her idea of a financial transaction tax could generate billions of dollars a year, something she said would help fix Chicago Public Schools and other issues where state funds aren’t available.
“I’m working on my financial transaction tax bill,” Flowers said in December, “which I anticipate bringing in about $9 billion. That would help.”
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On the House floor last month Flower said the goal is to go after the rich.
“We want to tax the rich and the famous,” Flowers said, “the very people that the governor is hanging out with.”
“We want their money to contribute so their businesses can continue to flourish,” Flowers said.
Governor Bruce Rauner on Monday said he opposes the proposed tax as something that would force the exchanges -- like the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Board Options Exchange -- out of Illinois.
“We would push them out of the state so fast, it would be in the blink of an eye,” Rauner said. “That would be a disaster.”
The governor says the options for Chicago Public Schools are limited.
“One is massive ongoing property tax hikes in Chicago,” Rauner said, “which would be devastating for our working families and our homeowners and our small business owners, or bankruptcy. I don’t see any other options.”
Rauner said he does support increasing state aid for poorer school districts but even with that the governor said Chicago would still have problems.
“Chicago has been so financially mismanaged for so long,” Rauner said.
Flowers’ House Bill 106 was introduced more than a year ago and would impose a $1 per contract tax for agricultural products and $2 per contract for all other contracts. But the measure doesn’t seem to be going anywhere as it’s been held in the rules committee since March of last year with Flowers as the only sponsor.