Income tax
10:23 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Ill. Voters Don't Want Tax Increase, Even If It Means Losing Services

Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

  Illinois voters want the temporary income tax increase to rollback in January, as scheduled, even if it means sizable cuts in state spending.

Amanda Vinicky reports on new findings that Illinois voters don't want to make permanent the 2011 income tax hike.

Full interview: Amanda Vinicky speaks with David Yepsen of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Says Yepsen, "Lack of credibility by our political leadership is making it very difficult for them to tell people now, 'You've got to eat your peas.'"

Just over a quarter of voters surveyed favor making the current income tax rate permanent, while 60 percent oppose it.

The current 5 percent rate will drop at the end of the year unless lawmakers intervene.

The public's opposition is still strong — stronger even — when voters are told lowering the tax rate will add billions of dollars to the state budget deficit.

David Yepsen is director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, which did the survey.

"People in Illinois are not very happy with the direction of the state," he said. "They've not very happy with their political leaders. They're in a very bad mood. So when you come around asking about taxes, they're not inclined to want to give political leaders are more money than they're already getting."

And yet, according to the survey, a majority of voters also oppose cutting spending on education, the disabled and the poor.

Yepsen says that will make it very difficult for the governor and lawmakers, as they grapple with crafting a new budget, particularly as many politicians are looking ahead to the November elections.