Illinois’ Senate president is looking ahead to state budget negotiations as the current fiscal year passes the halfway mark. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago, pictured) says more money has come in since the personal and corporate income taxes were increased. The corporate tax structure has been scrutinized as several companies threatened to leave the state, and Cullerton says he’s willing to address it further.
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“The goal is to raise the same amount of money that we get now from the corporate income tax,” he says. “And yet we have two-thirds of the corporations that don’t pay. So we’re open to any suggestions to bring in the same amount of money and make it fairer, really.” House Republicans introduced a measure shortly after passage of a tax break package for large companies that would roll back the corporate income tax to 4.8 percent, the level it was before the increase. Cullerton estimates the state brings in $2 billion annually through corporate income taxes. He couldn’t say how much extra money the state will bring in through tax increases, but he says there should be no problem balancing the budget and funding key areas, such as education.