Gov. Pat Quinn says making the income tax increase permanent will prevent drastic budget cuts and help pay down the state's backlog of unpaid bills. Illinois' temporary income tax increase was approved in 2011 and begins to roll back next year, creating a roughly $1.6 billion revenue drop. Quinn says ``maintaining'' the tax rates will keep money for crucial services and schools. Quinn is proposing an annual $500 property tax rebate to homeowners.
"By taking this comprehensive approach to tax reform, we can stabilize the budget for the long-term in a way that provides targeted tax relief where it's needed the most--to homeowners, and to working families raising kids."
Republicans have vowed to fight any extension of the increase. His speech comes as he embarks on a re-election campaign that's expected to be difficult. GOP businessman Bruce Rauner has blasted Quinn's leadership. Illinois also faces a low credit rating and uncertainty with its pension debt.
Support Your Public Radio Station