(Chicago, IL) — April 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn has proposed cutting the share of the Illinois income tax that is shared with towns and cities by $300 million to help close the state’s gaping budget deficit.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), however, on Friday told Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl not to worry: the state will not cut the town’s money.
The Daily Northewestern reported the following:
The state will not cut $1.7 million from the city’s income tax revenue, Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton told Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl on Friday.
Cities in Illinois normally receive 10 percent of the state income tax their residents pay, but in order to alleviate part of the $13 billion state deficit, Gov. Pat Quinn suggested allocating only 7 percent of the tax to cities.
“We would have been back to reopening the budget and cutting,” Tisdahl said.
If Cullerton has taken Quinn’s $300 million cut to the locals off the table, then Quinn and lawmakers will need to find cuts elsewhere in the budget or just add it to the pile of $6.1 billion of bills that Quinn proposes to go unpaid next year.
With a total state budget deficit of $13 billion and with local government of all sizes and shapes already slicing and dicing bare-bone budgets, shoving a chunk of the state’s problems off on the locals seems brutally unfair, not that such a move is Quinn’s preferred option.
The Governor has obviously been hoping that the threat to cut the local’s share of Illinois income tax would prompt local officials to lobby reluctant state lawmakers for an income tax increase. In theory, not a bad idea. But the tactic has been pretty overt, which dings its credibility. Additionally, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who supports a hike, has nixed the idea of an increase during the Spring session.
And Cullerton has nixed the revenue cut to locals.
The march back to the drawing board has begun.