Quinn's budget address likely to have tax hike extension - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Quinn's budget address likely to have tax hike extension

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

When it comes to Illinois' budget it's either a tax hike or deep cuts. Political experts are expecting Governor Pat Quinn to pick taxes.

 

"The situation that lead to it being increased hasn't changed, high unemployment, large, the largest unfunded pension liability of all the states," says Bob Evans, Rockford University, professor of economics and political science.

 

That's why economist and political scientist Bob Evans thinks governor pat Quinn will lay out a plan in his annual budget address to continue the income tax hike at the rate of 5 percent. It is scheduled to drop to 3.75 percent next year. Despite democrats controlling both sides of the legislature Evans says not many politicians want to raise taxes then try to win re-election.

 

"If they don't extend the current level of taxation then they are going to have to start cutting and that's going to be very painful. Voters don't want spending cuts for their own projects but they also don't want taxes raised," says Evans.

 

This idea has groups like Illinois Education Association and area teachers unions worried if cuts come they will be one of the first.

 

"The last 5 years education has taken some significant decreases in its funding," says Dawn Granath, Rockford Education Association.

 

The Rockford teachers' union says most school districts are down to bare-bones funding from the state and cannot take anymore cutbacks. If the tax rate is not maintained it's estimated the state would lose $2 billion next year and up to $5 by 2016.

 

"These cuts would be devastating to programs and the students would feel the impact of these cuts on a daily basis in their classroom," says Granath.

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says he is opposed to extending the income tax hike. Quinn gives his budget address tomorrow at noon. We will stream it live on wrex.com.

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