Issue of the Week - Tax Increases
A partisan budget put forth by the majority party spends $36 billion, which is $4 billion more than the expected state revenue of $32 billion. Illinoisans were adamant that the 2011 tax increase expire and the state fix its structurally poor approach to budgeting. Past history shows that increasing taxes is not the solution to solving Illinois fiscal insolvency. After the largest income tax hike in Illinois history, which generated an additional $31 billion in tax revenue, the state finds itself deeper in debt. This revenue was supposed to fund debt obligations; however, the majority party used a tax and spend approach to expand and create new programs.
Financial constraint is necessary for Illinois to begin addressing its budget crisis. The longer the state waits to make the necessary structural changes, the more painful the options to addressing the deficit become for taxpayers. However, organizations and their advocates are persistent in their pleas to increase taxes to prevent reductions to government programs and services.