All Press Items

June 1, 2017

CHICAGO (CBS) — Fiscal policy groups in Illinois agree the state’s nearly two-year budget quagmire has damaged everything from schools to social service agencies to the state’s bond rating, but take very different views on how to fix the problem.

Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said the budget impasse is doing serious harm to elementary schools and high schools across the state, as well as public universities. He said those problems will require some decisive – and perhaps unpopular – choices, such as an income tax hike.

Martire said that math doesn’t work.

“Yes, Illinois has more units of government and more school districts than it needs. Is that the most efficient model to have? Absolutely not. Is it creating a significant cost for taxpayers to bear? Is it artificially driving up our costs? No, it is not. In fact, we rank at or near the bottom in state or local spending,”

Martire said, realistically, tax policy must be part of any budget solution.

Rauner and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno have said they would support an income tax increase if Democratic lawmakers agree to changes in worker’s compensation benefits, a long-term property tax freeze, and other items on the governor’s agenda.

Source: CBS Chicago