Budget problems persist one year after income tax increase

PERU, IL – State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said this week marks the first anniversary of the “temporary” 67% tax increase.  The largest tax increase in state history was passed just hours before the new 97th General Assembly was sworn into office.  Sen. Rezin said that since then, Illinois’ fiscal health has not improved. 

Last week, Illinois’ credit rating was downgraded once again by Moody’s Investor services, and other credit rating agencies have issued warnings that they may soon follow.  Additionally, Illinois’ unemployment rate has returned to double-digit levels, and Gov. Quinn has had to offer incentives to several high profile companies in order to keep their business in the state.

Sen. Rezin said this is unacceptable fiscal management, and it only hurts the hardworking families of Illinois.

“The tax increase took at least a week’s pay out of the pockets of Illinois residents,” Sen. Rezin said.  “That’s approximately $1000 that working families no longer have to spend on groceries, gas, clothes, and other necessities.  The Democrats promised that the increase would be used to pay off old bills and fix the state’s financial problems, but it seems that the problem has only gotten worse, and at the expense of taxpayers.”

Furthermore, Gov. Quinn issued budget projections last week that revealed Illinois will be $500 million behind at the end of this fiscal year, which does not include another $2 billion in deferred obligations that are being pushed off into the next year. 

“The patterns of spending Illinois has adopted makes it impossible for the tax increase to expire when it is set to,” Sen. Rezin said.  “Unless we get to the root of the spending problem, Illinois residents can expect their higher taxes to remain the same.”

Sen. Rezin said there are achievable alternatives, such as the “Reality Check” plan Senate Republicans offered last March.  The plan contained a menu of more than $6.5 billion in spending reductions and program reforms to bring the budget into line with available revenues. 

“There are ways we can put Illinois on a solid financial footing,” Sen. Rezin said.  “That path will not be easy, but Illinois has no other choice.  It cannot continue as it has in years past.” 

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