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Hey millionaires, Illinois wants 10 percent of your cash

By   /   April 7, 2014  /   News  /   No Comments

By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Anyone who earns at least  $1 million in Illinois could soon be paying nearly 10 percent of it to the state.

PAY TWICE: Harmon, right, with Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago, say top earners in Illinois will pay twice under the progressive tax and the millionaires’ tax.

Under the proposed progressive income tax from state Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, anyone making more than $180,000 a year would be taxed at 6.9 percent.

Anyone making more than $1 million would pay an additional three percent for the proposed millionaires’ tax.

“We’ve proposed a comprehensive rate structure that works with, or without, a millionaires’ (tax),” Harmon said.

Powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, is backing the millionaire’s tax as a way to get more money for schools (and tweak uber-wealthy GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner)

But Kristina Rasmussen, vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute, said the message of the dual taxes is clear: Illinois is discouraging people from earning a decent income.

“Illinois should be focused on getting rid of government-imposed disincentives to work — not making them worse,” Rasmussen said. “The proposed tax on job creators is a cynical political move that has nothing to do with good public policy.”

Illinois has a long history of taxing behavior it wants to discourage.

Supporters pointed to a likely drop in smoking as proof the state’s cigarette taxes work, and they used the same argument about obesity in children when pitching a soda tax earlier this year.

Both the progressive tax and the millionaires’ tax are constitutional amendments; voters would have to approve both.

Lawmakers are likely to vote in the next week whether the amendments should be placed on the fall ballot.

Contact Benjamin Yount at and find him on Twitter @BenYount.


Ben formerly served as staff reporter for