Illinois income taxes may be going up if lawmakers reach agreement
By Kyle Maichle
The exact amount of the increase may not be determined until lawmakers finish up negotiations on January 6, 2011. The competing proposals could increase the state's flat income tax anywhere from 33 to 82 percent. During the gubernatorial campaign, Governor Pat Quinn proposed raising the income tax from 3 to 4 percent. A separate proposal in the State House would raise the income tax from 3 to 5.5 percent, while another would raise taxes to 5 percent.
Senate President John Cullerton refused to indicate if the income tax hike would be permanent or temporary. The Senate President told WLS-TV that: "there is so many different variables, I don't know whether it's permanent, whether it's temporary, but that's what we have got to talk about."
House Speaker Michael Madigan, during an interview with FOX Chicago News, criticized Republicans for not supporting the tax increase proposal. The House Speaker said: "I think the Republicans should become part of the government. They should become part of the decision makers, they shouldn't sit on the sidelines all the time and just mimic what happens out in Washington, where they oppose every initiative that Barack Obama puts forward for the benefit of the American people."
However, Republican leaders fired back at Madigan's comments and accused Democrat leaders and Governor Quinn for not considering a proposal that deals with the backlog of unpaid bills to state government contractors. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno told FOX Chicago News that she had a meeting with the Governor on January 5, 2011 to discuss the issue. The Minority Leader said that the Governor's response to the issue was: "they've already cut spending by $3 billion, but what they've done is not pay bills."
In addition to an income tax increase, a proposal to have the state borrow $9 million is being considered. The tax increase and borrowing proposals are eyed by Democrat leaders in the General Assembly to stem the state's $13 billion dollar budget deficit.