Illinois Radio Network
Could Illinois’ Income Tax Hike Become Permanent?
Monday, April 11, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) - Will Illinois’ temporary state income tax increase become permanent?
Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says yes, because the state’s financial condition won’t be any better four years from now.
It’ll be worse.
She calculates that the $34.5 billion revenue figure being used by Senate Democrats – which is about $1 billion less than the governor’s budget proposal – will produce a deficit of $12 billion after four years, if it’s increased by the 2 percent per year permitted under the income tax increase law. Such a deficit will require not only that the tax increase be extended, but that it be enlarged. She is against both possibilities.
But Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says Radogno is wrong to assume spending will increase each year as much as the law allows. He and the House speaker are basing their budgeting on projected revenue.
Radogno says the state has debts, in terms of bonds and unfunded pension liabilities, of $119 billion which cannot be forgotten.
Cullerton says the future of the tax is a decision to be made by lawmakers and the governor at the time, in 2015. The statute does end the tax, so politicians at the time would have to act to extend it. Historically, some temporary taxes have expired, and some have been extended.