Illinois House passes budget, income tax increase

04 July, 2017, 00:19 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • House Speaker Michael Madigan D-Chicago enters the blue room Tuesday in the basement of the Capitol in Springfield to answer questions after a meeting with the four legislative leaders. Madigan said

It's created to start repairing the fiscal calamity caused by the nation's longest budget stalemate since the Great Depression.

In voting for the tax hike before Rauner's sought-after reforms, the governor loses leverage in future negotiations.

The first-term governor insists on business-friendly changes and a statewide property tax freeze in return for agreement on a budget. The House also sent a $36 billion spending plan to the Senate amid concern that credit-rating companies will pull Illinois' investment-grade rating if a budget isn't enacted.

State Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, says the interest alone on that debt will cost taxpayers $800 million dollars.

IL lawmakers voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of legislation to continue funding 911 emergency call centers.

The House voted 72-45 Sunday on a 32 percent increase in the personal income tax rate. "We should instead require millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes that big corporations use to rig the system".

But the budget package still needs to pass the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Harrisburg Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps increases the telephone surcharge for emergency services. He said the increase is necessary to avoid financial catastrophe.

Only four of the 16 Republicans who voted for the clean debt hike in 2014 suggest they will or are open to doing so this fall. He said IL spends about $1 billion a year in those incentives.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he sent a letter to the bond rating agencies, "asking them to defer any further opinions relative to the credit rating of the state of IL, until we've had sufficient time to finalize our budget-making".

The proposal mirrors a plan the Senate passed earlier this year and is effectively a 32 percent boost.

IL is one of only three states and Washington, D.C., to levy taxes on wireless service at higher state tax rates in lieu of the broad sales taxes that apply to most other purchases.

Governor Rauner also tweeted his promise to "fight every day to lead this state in a new direction after decades of failed leadership". Unpaid bills have soared to a record $15 billion, and by August the state is set to run out of money for key expenses for the first time since the stalemate began, according to Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Credit rating agencies have threatened to downgrade the state's creditworthiness to "junk" status.

A decision is finally made Sunday over the IL state budget with both the tax revenue and spending budgets approved. It's the longest of any state since the Great Depression and comes with a $6.2 billion deficit and $14.7 billion in past-due bills.

He didn't specify the legislation.

The plan is projected to raise $5 billion in revenue.



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