Governor Quinn Wants Income Tax Increase to be Permanent, Offers Property Tax Relief in Exchange

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Published on March 26 2014 7:02 pm
Last Updated on March 26 2014 7:02 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

In his annual budget address, Governor Pat Quinn has proposed making the temporary income tax increase permanent, but offered to soften the blow with property tax relief. Quinn's plan would keep the flat income tax at five-percent, where it's been since the 2011 temporary hike from three-point-75 percent.

To make the increase more palatable, Quinn is offering a 500-dollar annual refund on property taxes paid by homeowners. Quinn says the additional revenue is needed to support education, including an expansion of early childhood programs. Without the revenue, Quinn says cuts to vital programs would be savage.

A recent poll shows 60% of Illinoisans are against continuing the tax increase.

Republican challenger Bruce Rauner says Governor Quinn's call to make the temporary income tax hike permanent shows he breaks his promises. Rauner issued a statement reacting to Quinn's address, saying the budget can be balanced without more tax increases. Quinn anticipated Rauner's criticism, saying at the end of his speech that those who say you can tax less and spend less and still expect to fund education "are simply not telling you the truth."

Quinn says the state is spending billions less, even as demands have grown.