The recovery after the recession is slower in Illinois than most people would like. Economists for a panel of lawmakers put numbers to that story, with Jim Muschinske, revenue manager for the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, pointing to the “elephant in the room” – the income tax increase passed in 2011.
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He says after it expires in 2014, state revenues stand to drop precipitously: “We go from generating over $7 billion … to only about $2.8 (billion).” The tax increase would need another vote if lawmakers want to extend it. There’s more: “All of the growth in revenues in next year will be eaten up in pension costs, and then some.” All of the factors point to what COGFA chief economist Edward Boss calls “the weakest expansion we’ve seen in the post-World War 2 period … coming off of the worst recession we saw in the post-World War 2 period.”