Madigan: Vote Count Low For Graduated Tax

Apr 24, 2014

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago)

  Time is running out on a push for a graduated income tax income tax in Illinois and it remains to be seen whether a key legislative leader supports the plan.

Backers of the graduated tax say it's more fair than Illinois' current flat tax, because people who earn more can afford to pay more.

But enacting that requires changing the state constitution. Voters would have the final say at the ballot in November, but they won't even be asked if lawmakers don't approve it first.

The proposal requires a three-fifths majority in the legislature before it'd be sent to voters. That means all 71

House Democrats would have to sign on, and House Speaker Michael Madigan suggests prospects are dim.

Among those refusing to commit, the speaker himself.

Reporter: "Are you even for that?"

Madigan: "Well ... you know, I would give that a lot of thought when it's called."


But Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, says he's confident the speaker will come around.

"I remain optimistic and confident that the speaker is fully engaged in tax policy reform and understands the virtue of the fair tax," he said.