Illinois House approves income tax hike, spending plan
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois— A revenue plan cleared a major hurdle Sunday evening in Springfield, bringing Illinois closer to ending its historic budget impasse.
For the first time in two years, a spending plan and a revenue plan are now in the hands of the Senate.
Sunday, the Illinois House voted to raise the state’s income tax by a vote of 72 to 45. They voted in favor of the appropriations bill 81 to 34. The votes come two days after the state entered its third straight year without a budget, a stalemate that has left Illinois with a $14.7 billion backlog of overdue bills.
If the income tax hike is signed into law, it would permanently raise the personal income tax rate from 3.75% to 4.95%, a hike of 32%; the corporate tax rate would go from 5.25% to 7%.
Both increases are identical to the tax proposal that passed the Illinois Senate in May and would restore both rates to almost exactly where they were before the temporary, four-year increase was allowed to expire in 2015.
The plan is projected to raise $5 billion in revenue.
The bills received some Republican support, despite previous objections by members of the GOP.
But local Republicans Tony McCombie and Dan Swanson were not among them. Democrat Mike Halpin also voted “no.”
Governor Bruce Rauner, however, suggested he will not approve the tax hikes, tweeting, “I will veto Mike Madigan’s permanent 32% tax hike.”
Governor Rauner also tweeted his promise to “fight every day to lead this state in a new direction after decades of failed leadership.”
House Speaker Michael Madigan released a statement, saying, “Today, Democrats and Republicans stood together to take a crucial step toward reaching a compromise that ends the budget crisis by passing a fully funded state budget in a bipartisan way.”
He added, “There is more work to be done, and we will continue working with Republicans to ensure the issues still on the table are fully resolved.”
State Rep. Greg Harris, a Democrat from Chicago backed Madigan’s up, saying, “Let’s get it done, let’s get it done today. Let’s get it done now. We all love this state and we all know we cannot delay any longer.”
State Rep. Jim Durkin, the Republican House Minority leader disagrees, arguing, “Putting a new spending bill with only three hours to review… to me is not an exercise in good faith.”
Illinois is the only state to ever go two years without passing a budget, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.