There are three weeks left in the spring legislative session, yet the governor doesn’t know if or when lawmakers will act on his request to extend the income tax increase.
If lawmakers do nothing, the income tax rate will fall from 5 percent to 3.75 at the end of the year. Gov. Pat Quinn wants it kept at 5 percent, but he’s not sure the votes can be found.
“I think that’ll happen in due course. We have to, obviously, get the votes. This is a turning point in Illinois fiscal history. We’ve been able to pay down our bills by $5 billion in the last few years. Our economy is doing better. It’s so important that we have a budget that moves our state forward,” he said.
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Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says the votes are probably there to make the tax increase permanent, but the Senate won’t vote unless the House does, and finding the votes in the House will be a tougher task.
The governor is also interesting in seeing that his proposal to provide $500 to every homeowner to offset property tax be included in revenue legislation.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are considering a variety of budget proposals, including the governor’s “recommended” and “not recommended” plans, as well as budget proposals based on revenue estimates that anticipate the tax rate being kept at 5 percent, and based on revenue estimates that envision that tax rate declining.