All Press Items
CTBA experts are available to provide insight, analysis, and data to the press on a wide range of public policy issues. In addition, CTBA disseminates new research and timely updates on policy developments to the media.
What We Do
- Policy analysis and advocacy
- Empirical research
- Advice and technical assistance
- Strategic leadership in coalitions
- Legislative testimony
- Public education
Ralph Martire talked with Dick Kay on WCPT-AM Back on the Beat to discuss how Illinois is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on state revenue, what the City of Chicago will face, and potential implications on property taxes, to name a few. Listen to the program HERE
No matter how you perceive the president's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is undeniable: the Trump Administration has turned sending mixed signals into an art form. From the relative severity of the virus, to how best to treat it or when it will be safe to reopen the economy, Trump and his team have made numerous proclamations which are at odds with each other, scientific facts or both. So it's no surprise that it's difficult to pin down exactly where his administration stands on providing federal funds to help states deal with the yawning revenue shortfalls they face due to the pandemic.
Along with watching the presidential contest, the biggest race in Illinois leading up to Nov. 3 is the proposed graduated income tax amendment that could overhaul how our fiscally challenged state raises money.
State and local government budgets across America are reeling from the pandemic’s economic blow. What will it look like in Chicago?
Even Before Federal COVID-19 Rescue Checks Arrive, Illinois Schools Spend Tens of Millions on Technology
Despite push, some students still lack devices, and some districts aren’t providing data about who’s logging on.
Illinois school leaders spent tens of millions of dollars within weeks as they scrambled to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and the abrupt school closures it triggered.
In a bid to roll out remote learning plans quickly, officials made rapid-fire buys even before the federal government promised $678 million in emergency aid for Illinois schools. In some of the largest school districts across the state, the bulk of the spending went toward thousands of laptops and tablets.
During the governor's budget address in late February, he said the amount of state funding for education would depend on whether the graduated income tax amendment passed. The level of state education funding was set through a bipartisan formula approved in 2017 but that apparently doesn't matter. in typical political fashion, especially in Illinois, the ends justify the means.
Not everyone agrees what constitutes sound fiscal policy for Illinois, particularly when it comes to the proposed graduated income tax amendment to Illinois' Constitution that voters will consider this fall.
"If you have a flat rate and you need to increase revenue, you have to increase taxes for low- and middle-income families," said Ralph Martire, executive director for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a Chicago-based bipartisan think tank. The only way to avoid that is to have a graduated rate structure that shifts the tax burden to upper-income families, he said.
SPRINGFIELD – Education funding is once again top of mind at the Capitol, with a key cog of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal addressing the matter already facing pushback.
The governor's new spending plan ties education support, pension funding and more to the outcome of a graduated income tax amendment on the November ballot. And if that fails? Says a watchdog, "We'll wait and see."
“This isn’t about punishing the rich; it’s about creating a system that’s more equitable for everyone