Despite what the governor says, the Democrat votes aren’t there for increasing taxes on Illinois residents, according to the Senate President.
With nearly seven full months and no budget, the state is estimated to be paying out billions more than it’s bringing in because of court orders and consent decrees. Governor Bruce Rauner said majority Democrats could move on their own to increase revenue to pay for programs they want to fund.
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“And if the majority party in the General Assembly thought that just raising taxes to fund those services, they could do it,” Rauner said. “They haven’t even moved a finger to and do that.”
However, Senate President John Cullerton says there aren’t enough Democrats willing to do that.
“So, it’s going to have to be not a Democratic tax or a Republican tax, it’s going to be a compromise,” Cullerton said. “If there’s going to be a tax.”
Cullerton says if there’s no tax increase the governor will have to address where to cut to make up the budget shortfall he says is $6.5 billion.
“And we’re not going to have any tax increase unless Bruce Rauner agrees to it,” Cullerton said. “And if he agrees to it, the amount of the increase is going to be up to him. So that requires compromise.”
Rauner said majority Democrats are afraid to look taxpayers in the eye and ask for more money because taxpayers are quote “fed up.”
“Because they know our taxpayers are angry. They’re fed up,” Rauner said. “Our taxpayers know they’re not getting value for their dollars. They know that we’re losing jobs. They know bureaucracy is wasting their money and they want change.”
Rauner has said he is willing to go along with a tax increase and spending cuts to plug the budget hole but only if there are structural economic and political reforms.