Gov. Pat Quinn proposes making the temporary income tax hike permanent in his yearly budget address. Quinn didn’t phrase it that way to the politicians gathered in Springfield for his speech. “While we’ve taken some difficult steps to balance the budget,” Quinn said, “the issue of expiring revenue this year is a real challenge.”
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The income tax rate is set to drop to 3.75 percent on January 1, halfway through the coming fiscal year. By keeping that rate at the current level of 5 percent, Quinn said the state can avoid making drastic cuts to education and human services, and develop more comprehensive tax reforms. Quinn also called for doubling the earned income tax credit, as well as avoiding taxing services or retirement income. The address had originally been scheduled for February 19, but Quinn asked the speech to be delayed in order to craft what he called a five-year budget plan.
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