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Illinois Millionaire Tax Increase for Education Question (2014)

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Millionaire Tax Increase for Education Question
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Type:Advisory question
Referred by:Illinois General Assembly
Topic:Taxes on the ballot
Status:Approved Approveda
2014 measures
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November 4
Right to Vote Amendment Approveda
Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment Approveda
Minimum Wage Increase Question Approveda
Birth Control Coverage Question Approveda
Millionaire Tax Increase Question Approveda
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Local measures

The Illinois Millionaire Tax Increase for Education Question was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Illinois as an advisory question, where it was approved. The measure asked voters whether they supported increasing the tax on incomes greater than one million dollars by 3 percent for the purpose of providing additional revenue to school districts based on their number of students.[1]

The advisory question was introduced into the Illinois Legislature by Rep. Michael J. Madigan (D-22) as House Bill 3816.[2]

Election results

Below are the official, certified election results:

Illinois Millionaire Tax Increase for Education Question
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,200,033 59.95%
No1,256,64234.24%

The amount of total votes in the overall election was used to calculate the percent of "yes" and "no" votes, since this number was less than the percentage of people who voted on this question. This may result in the percents for the "yes" and "no" votes adding up to less than 100 percent.
Election results via: Illinois State Board of Elections

Text of measure

Ballot title

The proposed ballot title was as follows:[1]

Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?[3]

Background

2014 advisory questions

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Democrat-controlled Illinois Legislature referred three non-binding advisory questions to the November 4 general election ballot in hopes of enticing left-leaning voters to come out to the polls. Charles N. Wheeler III, a longtime statehouse reporter and now an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said, "I would look at it as getting people to the polls, basically to gin up the turnout assuming that if you're excited about voting for an increase in the minimum wage, you're not going to vote for [Republican gubernatorial candidate] Bruce Rauner or any other Republican. It also will give (supporters) leverage because on that issue you assume it's overwhelmingly approved, they can go to the General Assembly next session, if need be, and argue, 'Here is strong support, here are the results from your precinct or your legislative district of what people felt about this and they really want that.'"[4]

Support

Supporters

Arguments

Speaker Madigan proposed the advisory question after he failed to get a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment proposing similar legislation on the November 4 ballot. He argued that the tax, if eventually implemented, would raise revenue, saying it could bring in $1 billion a year for education, which comes out to approximately $550 more per student. Currently, the Illinois Constitution imposes a flat tax, in which all taxpayers pay at the same rate regardless of income.[6]

HB 3816 "Yes" votes

The following members of the Illinois General Assembly voted in favor of placing this measure on the ballot.[7][8]

Note: A yes vote on HB 3816 merely referred the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators approved of the stipulations laid out in the measure.

House

Senate

Opposition

Arguments

Some Republicans criticized all three proposed non-binding advisory questions as attempts to increase turnout among Democrats at the general election in November. Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-54) said, "Let me interpret this for you. The Dems are loading the ballot with referendums that mean nothing, just so they can get their traditional supporters out to the polls to vote for them, so they can protect their power, position, and pension. Only in Illinois."[9]

HB 3816 "No" votes

The following members of the Illinois General Assembly voted against placing this measure on the ballot.[7][8]

Note: A no vote on HB 3816 meant that a legislator did not want to refer the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators disapproved of the stipulations laid out in the measure.

House

Senate

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing ballot measures in Illinois

Rep. Michael J. Madigan (D-22) originally introduced a similar measure as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. However, the measure failed to garner a required three-fifths vote in favor among legislators. He reintroduced the topic as an advisory question. Rep. Madigan noted that having voter support would encourage legislators to act on the matter.[5]

The Illinois House approved HB 3816 on May 23, 2014.[10] The Illinois Senate approved the bill on May 29, 2014.[11] Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the bill on July 29, 2014, thus placing the question on the ballot.[12]

House vote

May 23, 2014 House vote

Illinois HB 3816 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 64 58.18%
No4641.82%

Senate vote

May 29, 2014 Senate vote

Illinois HB 3816 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 33 66.00%
No1734.00%

See also

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Additional reading

References