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Wed February 5, 2014
Big Revenue Drop If Income Tax Rate Falls
Illinois lawmakers are beginning to confront the huge hole expected in next year's state budget.
The temporary income tax increase of a few years ago is set to roll back at the end of this year. Lawmakers are being told Illinois will have $1.58 billion less to spend next year.
"The budget is going to be one of the, if not the big issue, as it generally is," said Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion).
Bradley is chairman of the House Revenue Committee.
"But let's also take into account, we saw some pretty encouraging figures in terms of growth in sales tax revenues, growth in corporate activity," he said.
But no one really thinks Illinois can grow its way out of the funding gap created by the income tax rollback -- you could close every state prison and still not make up the difference.
That's why the tax increase -- and whether to make it permanent -- is expected to be a big issue in this year's campaign for governor.
Gov. Pat Quinn isn't expected to say where he stands on the tax question until he gives his budget address -- which Quinn wants to delay until late March, after the primary election.