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Commentary — Let’s be blunt: Illinois needs higher taxes.
That statement might come as a shock to citizens under the illusion that all would be well, if state leaders would just cut all the wasteful spending out of the state budget.
Better-informed folks won’t be surprised, though, when at some point — one would hope sooner rather than later — Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature’s majority Democrats hash out a budget deal for the current fiscal year involving some cuts, but also major tax increases.
The need for additional revenue long has been a recurring theme among knowledgeable observers of the state’s financial picture. In an August analysis, for example, Moody’s Investors Services suggested “a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases including reinstating higher income tax rates” as a way to offset a roughly $5 billion deficit projected for the current fiscal year.