Tax will be a top topic in Springfield in 2014. The 2011 income tax increase is set to expire at the end of the year, and as lawmakers consider whether to extend it, they might consider other things too, says State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook). “Now with the pension issue behind us, we can have a civil public discourse on what do we want our tax structure to be like going forward so that it does grow with the economy, because I think one of the challenges we face right now is that our tax structure does not really allow government revenues to grow with the economy,” she said.
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That means a tax on areas of the economy that are growing, so tax revenue will rise without the state having to impose a higher rate. Taxes on cigarettes and gasoline, for example, do not grow with the economy, because consumption of those products is declining.
A graduated income tax has been introduced, but that requires a constitutional amendment. Lawmakers might consider raising the income tax rate and also raising the personal exemption, and they may look at applying sales tax to more things and lowering the rate.