ITEF Comment: Volume 15, Issue 12
IT’S OFFICIAL: ILLINOIS FY2009 REVENUE HIGHER THAN FY2008
The figures just released from the Illinois Comptroller’s Office for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, (http://www.ioc.state.il.us) indicate that total state revenue for Fiscal Year 2009 is higher, not lower, than total revenue of Fiscal Year 2008, according to Jim Tobin, President of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF).
“While the revenue increase is very modest, 0.25%, ($161.6 million), the point is that total state revenues have not plunged,” said Tobin. “The Chicago Sun-Times erroneously reported on June 15, 2009, that ‘The state is bringing in less money. Revenues aren’t just lower than expected. They’re lower than past years by billions of dollars.’ To put it as diplomatically as possible, that statement is totally incorrect.”
“For two decades, reported the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 2009, the Illinois General Assembly has increased state spending at double the rate of inflation.”
Added the Tribune: “Had they not overcommitted Illinois taxpayers to so many spending streams, had they created a serious rainy-day fund, they wouldn’t face the crisis that their profligacy has invited.”
The top 7 state revenue sources fell $2.0 billion (-7.37%). Sales taxes fell -6.65%, personal income taxes fell -8.65%, corporate income taxes fell -10.31%, public utility taxes increased +2.66%, motor fuel taxes increased +11.79%, casino taxes fell -20.78% (partly due to the ban on smoking), and tobacco taxes fell -5.10%.
Other significant revenue sources increased $2.5 billion (+12.77%). Tax revenues from the Federal Government increased +19.65%, the sale of investments fell -0.10%, bond issue proceeds fell -15.34%, and Lottery revenues fell -0.40%.
“Clearly,” said Tobin, “Illinois’ budget gap is caused by out-of-control spending, the worst of which are the lavish, gold-plated retirement benefits received by retired government workers, including downstate and suburban public school teachers and administrators.”