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IL mayors urge state to leave municipal funds alone

Wed, 23 May 2012 15:07:33 CDT
By: IPR's Rachel Otwell

Mayors from around the state gathered at the Illinois Capitol today to urge legislators not to divert their local revenue. Some of the budget proposals floating around the Statehouse would use a portion of money that normally goes to local governments. That same funding source was tapped last fall to pay for regional offices of education. IPR's Rachel Otwell has more.

Mayors say they are already facing a problem paying for the retirements of police officers and firefighters. Mayor Jim Ardis of Peoria calls taking money intended for local government a direct assault on public safety. He says city jobs will have to be cut without enough state funding.

"We've balanced our budgets. If they give us the money that's our money, the state percentages of the corporate tax and the income tax we'll find a way to continue to balance our budgets. What concerns me is when they're taking those dollars that are our dollars and expect us to do without them."

After the state income tax increase was passed last year, the legislature reduced how much cities received from those tax collections by 4 percent. And cities aren't the only ones concerned with the latest talk. Schools, park districts, townships and other taxing bodies could take a hit. The legislature has yet to approve a budget for the coming fiscal year.

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