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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on May 22, 2015

"A proposed state constitutional amendment to impose a 3 percent surtax on incomes of more than $1 million a year failed Thursday in the Illinois House," the Springfield State Journal-Register reports.

"The vote on the amendment was 68-47. It needed 71 votes to pass the House. All Republicans voting on the proposed amendment voted against it. Three Democrats also voted against the measure: Jack Franks of Marengo, Ken Dunkin of Chicago and Scott Drury of Highwood."

Franks and Drury, sure, but what up Ken?

"[Dunkin] said he wanted to see a comprehensive solution that provides more money to schools and other needed state services."

We'd all like to see a comprehensive solution - one that solves cancer and eliminates the designated hitter, too - but until then...

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"Dunkin complains that Madigan's proposal is a distraction from the larger issue of fair funding for all schools in Illinois," according to Reboot Illinois.

Dunkin seems to be the only one distracted. It's true that revenues from a millionaire tax would be distributed to local school districts on a per pupil basis and thus not address funding inequities. It's also true that funding inequities, due mostly to a reliance on property taxes to fund schools, are a far larger and complicated issue than a millionaire tax that would put some money in the bank in a pretty straightforward way. It's also true that Madigan is just playing politics. So maybe it is a distraction.

Then again, Ken Dunkin . . . from the Beachwood vault:

Lastly, just to show how ridiculous the whole thing is, state Rep. Ken Dunkin's application for a legislative scholarship doesn't seem to contemplate that a high school student could just google the answers to such silly questions as who the lieutenant governor is and what the three branches of government are (trick question - there are only two: The House of Madigan and The Hall of Rahm).

But there I go taking the process seriously. Ken Dunkin has no business deciding who gets to attend the university. That's why they have a little something called the admissions office, and legislators should stay the hell away from it.

Meanwhile, House Republicans insisted a millionaire tax would empty Illinois of millionaires.

"These people have the ability to leave, and they can and they will," said Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove. "We ought to be encouraging job creators. We will be pushing them out of the state."

Doubtful.

"Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Norridge, noted that 22 states already have top income tax rates comparable to or higher than the rate that would have been imposed on millionaires in Illinois. For example, Iowa imposes an 8.9 percent rate on income of more than $70,000.

"Mr. Speaker, where are all of these people going to move?" Martwick said.

Not only that, but this from Minnesota Public Radio:

The number of top Minnesota earners who filed 2013 tax returns was higher than initially projected, a sign that Gov. Mark Dayton's push to raise taxes on the state's wealthiest earners has not caused many to flee.

But that doesn't mean that the argument over income tax policy is settled.

Two years ago, Dayton and the DFL-controlled Legislature raised income taxes on individuals who make at least $150,000 a year and couples who make at least $250,000.

During the debate over the plan, some Republicans, warned it would chase Minnesota's top earners from the state.

"It's been said that money talks, but money walks also," state Rep. Mark Uglem, R-Champlin said at the time. "The job creators, the big corporations, the small corporations, they will leave. It's all dollars and sense to them."

But according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, that has not come to pass. Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly says 6,230 more Minnesotans filed in the top income tax bracket than expected in 2013.

"The economy is growing faster and more families are doing better in Minnesota than we initially estimated," Bauerly said. "It's a very small amount but it is all reflected in the economy and how families are doing in Minnesota."

The economy up there is going gangbusters. Look to the north, people, not the east. Would you rather be Minnesota or Indiana?

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Tips gonna tip.

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MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
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BOOKS - Sugar Gamers Love Quimby's.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.


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