The state’s comptroller warns that any corporate tax breaks must include corresponding budget cuts. Judy Baar Topinka railed against lawmakers’ plans to give breaks to Sears and the CME Group to stay in Illinois without cuts elsewhere. Lawmakers wanted to use new revenue from an expiring federal depreciation rule to pay for it, but Topinka says that’s inadequate.
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“We were going to get that money anyway, so I mean that’s no added revenue," she says. “That still doesn’t get into all the various things that we owe which are $4.3 billion, that’s our backlog in the comptroller’s office.” When calculating Medicaid, pensions and other payments, Topinka says the total backlog of bills hovers around $8.3 billion. She suggests passing a gambling expansion to pay for tax breaks, or finding $250 million in cuts to correspond with the incentive package’s price tag.