Gov. Pat Quinn says if the income tax increase expires, it’ll produce one of two consequences, neither pleasant.
The governor, who wants to keep the 5 percent personal income tax rate, says if it goes down to 3.75 percent, it’ll mean either poorer schools or higher property tax – or both.
“What we wanna do is make sure that our state properly funds education. If we starve education, we are going to continue to over-rely on the property tax system. That is an iron law. That is arithmetic,” he said.
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Republican Bruce Rauner says the income tax increase can expire. He also criticizes Quinn for cutting funding for education. School funding is down over the last five years, but the state contribution is up slightly. It is federal stimulus money that has gone away.
The income tax rate went up from 3 percent to 5 percent in 2011. At the end of this year, it will automatically go down to 3.75 percent, unless lawmakers act to extend the 5 percent rate, or make it permanent, which is what the governor wants to do.
Quinn says property tax is to be avoided because it isn’t based on ability to pay.