income tax

Illinois is extending its income tax filing period, days after the federal government did the same. 

Both Illinois and federal income taxes will have the same deadline – July 15.

A pair of credit rating agencies on Tuesday issued warnings on the finances of both the state of Illinois and its largest city.

Democrats are almost finished carrying out one of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top campaign pledges, as the Illinois House on Thursday approved tax brackets for his proposed graduated income tax.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

More than a dozen school superintendents gathered in the statehouse today to thank lawmakers who went out on a limb to raise taxes and send more money to schools.

That gratitude was also their way of nudging lawmakers not to change their votes Thursday, when the House of Representatives will try to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget veto.

Jeff Craig, superintendent of Aurora West schools, admonished lawmakers with something a teacher might tell students about their classroom or playground.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Two of three major bond-rating firms have chimed in with a positive note on the financial outlook for Illinois.

S&P Global Ratings issued a notice Monday that a House vote to raise $5 billion through an income-tax increase "represents a meaningful step toward the enactment of a comprehensive budget."

Illinois has been without a budget for two years. It has a $6.2 billion deficit and backlogged bills total $14.7 billion. The major credit agencies had warned of a downgrade to "junk" status without swift action.

Jenna Dooley

Governor Bruce Rauner is predicting companies would flee the state if Illinois changed its income tax structure.

Currently the personal income tax rate is 3.75 percent.

Some Democratic candidates for governor are starting to campaign on changing to a graduated income tax rate - so wealthy people pay more.

Rauner says that proposal would result in business owners leaving Illinois.

If we double their tax rate, which could happen under some sort of a graduated scheme, we’ll see the flood of businesses go to a torrent out of Illinois.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

A Chicago-based research group says cleaning up Illinois' budget mess will require difficult decisions such as raising the income tax, slashing spending and imposing taxes on food, services and some retirement income.

In an analysis released Thursday, the Civic Federation's Institute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability says the state budget stalemate has only exacerbated Illinois' enormous financial problems.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall says “there are no more politically popular solutions left.''

A year ago, Illinois' income tax rate fell by 25-percent. The top Democrat in the Illinois House is suggesting it go back up, according to news headlines...but that's not what he meant to convey.

Following a rare speech at the City Club of Chicago, longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan was asked this question about the state budget:

"How high do you think taxes need to go?"

Madigan tried to avoid getting specific, saying at first:

"Alright, let me avoid creating a headline for tomorrow's newspaper..." This drew a laugh from the audience.

Illinois Lawmakers Spend Holiday In Springfield

May 26, 2014
state of Illinois

With just six days remaining before the scheduled summer adjournment, the state budget remains the top issue. 

Lawmakers face few choices: slash spending on things like education and health care, or vote to make the current five percent income tax rate permanent. It's scheduled to drop by more than a percentage point at the end of the year.

Democrats have been unable to find the votes needed to pass a tax extension in the House. Proponents of that approach, like Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), hope their reluctant colleagues heard from constituents over the weekend.

state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers return to the Capitol, with just two weeks remaining until they're scheduled to adjourn for the summer.

Democratic leaders all say Illinois ought to make 2011's temporary tax hike a permanent one. They say letting the tax roll back as scheduled for the end of the year would bring drastic cuts in state spending.

But, so far, House Speaker Michael Madigan has reportedly been unable to get the required 60 of his 71 Democratic lawmakers to agree to that.

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

New data suggests just how big a hit most school districts would take if Illinois' income tax rate rolls back as scheduled at the end of the year.

Illinois' budget could play out a lot of different ways.

But under one scenario -- the one Gov. Pat Quinn says will be the case if tax rates aren't kept at five percent -- kindergarten through high school classrooms across Illinois will get $450 million dollars less from the state.

Jessica Handy, with the "Stand for Children" advocacy group, says schools are already doing more with less.

Lawmaker Calls For Graduated Income Tax

Mar 26, 2014
ilga.gov

Advocates have been moving for months to give Illinois a progressive income tax. Instead of the same flat rate for everyone, those who make more would pay more.

Backers of the plan argue most Illinoisans would get a tax cut.

Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, says this provides the state a new choice, instead of extending the 2011 income tax hike or making deep cuts to services.

"We can continue an unfair, regressive tax at 5 percent, or we can cut government services, the services upon which folks rely by 20 percent across-the-board," Harmon said.