(Adds comment from Rauner campaign)
CHICAGO, March 20 Illinois' powerful speaker of
the House of Representative on Thursday unveiled a plan that
would slap a tax surcharge on millionaires in the state in an
effort to raise $1 billion a year for schools.
Chicago Democrat Michael Madigan's plan surfaced just two
days after voters in the Republican primary election chose
multi-millionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner to face
incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn in the November general
Chip Englander, Rauner's campaign manager, said economic
growth was needed to boost education funding.
"We need to take a look at our entire tax system to make
Illinois more competitive and lower the tax burden on the people
of Illinois," Englander said in a statement.
Under the speaker's plan, annual incomes topping $1 million
would be taxed an additional 3 percent over the state's flat
income tax rate, with the additional revenue distributed to
schools on a per-pupil basis.
"This plan brings long overdue fairness to the state tax
structure and provides a needed boost to education funding to
help give our children more of the resources they need to
succeed," Madigan said in a statement.
The proposed constitutional amendment would need approval
from the Democrat-controlled House and Senate by May 5 in order
to be placed on the ballot for the November general election,
according to the statement.
Illinois' personal income tax rate, which was boosted to 5
percent in 2011, is scheduled to fall to 3.75 percent on Jan. 1
unless lawmakers take action to keep the higher rate in place.
Quinn's fiscal 2015 budget presentation planned for next week is
expected to address how the cash-strapped state will deal with
the tax rate roll-back.
(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by James Dalgleish and