There’s progress on putting together a budget for the Illinois state fiscal year that begins July 1. There is less progress on how to pay for it. The personal income tax rate drops from 5 percent to 3.75 percent Jan. 1, unless there’s a vote otherwise. An idea floating around the Capitol is to pass the larger budget now, then save the tax vote for after the election and let whoever is elected governor then deal with it.
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State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley), a member of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, is not on board with that. “I would hope that before we left here on May 31 and voted on the budget that we would have our revenues set for next year,” he said, adding that the uncertainty, to say nothing of the reduction of income, would damage school districts expecting state money.
“What we should do is we should cut spending, and we should assume the tax increase expires” as planned when the lawmakers of January 2011 increased it for four years, says State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), who is also on that committee. “If they (the majority Democrats) pass an unbalanced budget, it will be another stunt that will hurt the state.”
The current level of revenue would hold until Dec. 31 regardless. Gov. Pat Quinn is campaigning for re-election as well as to keep the 5 percent rate. Republican Bruce Rauner, challenging Quinn, is not in favor of that. If Rauner wins the election in November, everything will be his problem.