Taxpayers are on the hook for an increase of late fees and fines while the state is on pace to rack up as much as $10 billion is backlogged bills, according to the state’s comptroller.
With Illinois now more than eight and a half months into the current fiscal year without a full budget, consent decrees and court orders are mandating spending at previous levels despite a partial decrease in the state’s income tax.
Comptroller Leslie Munger told lawmakers this week the backlog of bills continues to grow, as do the correlating late fees and fines.
Click here for summary
“At the end of the calendar year we had accrued about $190 million in late fees and fines, and we are on track to be somewhere between $300 million and $350 million at the end of the fiscal year with the backlock that we have,” Munger said.
She added that her office is doing what it can to manage payment to social services providers struggling to stay open.
“We get hardship calls from social service organizations saying they can’t meet a payroll, they’re about to close their services, and we find something that we can pay them that helps them limp through that period and keep their doors open and keeps their services,” Munger said, “so we pull them up from the back of the line.”
As of Thursday the comptroller’s website put the backlog of bills at nearly $7.5 billion.