Preservationists say almost 18 percent of the state's historic sites might close because of potential budget cuts, and 10 of them could have to close as soon as July if lawmakers don't make a temporary tax increase permanent. The sites haven't been identified. Governor Pat Quinn wants to make the tax increase permanent. Amy Martin is executive director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. She says lowering the income tax rate from 5 percent to 3.75 percent means the agency's budget would fall to levels not seen in decades. Martin says that "would be a step backwards in every way." Illinois oversees 56 historic sites, ranging from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield to smaller operations such as the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington.
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