Winnebago Co. will lose $1 million to the state - – Rockford’s News Leader

Winnebago Co. will lose $1 million to the state


Illinois passed a budget for the first time in two years, but Winnebago County board members say their budget is going to be slim. 

"What we're seeing now first hand is the dysfunction and the lack of responsible government in Springfield coming back to affect our local governments," Frank Haney, the Winnebago County Board chairman, said. 

County board members say the state is now taking 10 percent of the money collected by the county in income taxes. It will also charge the county a 2 percent fee in public safety sales tax. In total, the county will lose more than $1 million in fiscal year 2018.

"The state does not know how to control its spending and this is an obvious example of that," Ted Biondo, the chairman of the county board Finance Committee, said. 

Now, the county is left to write their own budget and fill in the holes. To solve that problem, board members are looking at cutting services and potentially jobs.

"In order to pass a balanced budget, we really have no other option, but to cut spending. So we have to look a every option possible to reduce spending," Carla Paschal, the county's chief financial officer, said. 

The county is already facing a $5 million deficit, and with the added fees from the state, that number could jump to $6 million. Although Winnebago County will see cut backs in the next fiscal year, county board members say they will continue to fight to not see another increase from the state.  

"We do not have the luxury they do in Springfield or in Washington where you can take forever to pass a budget and go year over year without a budget and then pass along your problems to other small units of government," Haney said. 

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