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Illinois Won't Extend Higher Income Tax Rate

It looks like Illinois lawmakers will allow the temporary higher income tax rate to expire January 1.

Lawmakers have the ability to decide during the fall veto session to extend it.  But, Republican Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner has cautioned lawmakers against taking it up until he’s in office. 

And Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said he will heed Rauner's advice and won't bring it up during this fall. He said lawmakers will wait to have the discussion until after Rauner is sworn in on January 12.

If the income tax rate does fall back from 5% to 3.75%, cuts to the state budget are likely to follow.

Western Illinois University Faculty Union President John Miller said that’s largely because Illinois can’t afford to lower the income tax rate without finding other sources of revenue.  

“The reality here is any revenue cut at the present moment in the state of Illinois is going to harm the citizens of Illinois,” Miller said.

“It’s going to harm education, human services and the services we all expect the state to perform.”

He said Western is slated to lose some $9.9 million worth of state appropriations.

Miller said he looks forward to hearing what Rauner has in mind to address Illinois’ ongoing and long term revenue issues.

“The governor elect needs to deal with this,” Miller said. “Ultimately his language, his rhetoric and his party now has to come to the table with a real revenue plan and a budget plan and we have yet to see anything from him or from the Republican Party for that matter over the last several years.”

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.