Illinois Government Swimming in Taxpayer Dollars

By Jim Tobin, ITEF President

SPRINGFIELD—Analysis of Illinois revenues for the first eight months of fiscal year 2010 shows an increase of $7.5 billion from the same period in FY2009. Comparing the same eight months against a healthier FY2008, revenues are still up $5.3 billion, or 13%.

Whose income has gone up 13% over the past 2 years and demands more money? Only truly dedicated tax-raisers would dare to, like Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and his allies at the Civic Federation.

While individual line items, such as personal and corporate income tax revenues are down, they have more than been made up for by other revenue sources, particularly federal tax dollars. Since ITEF began tracking state revenue in 2003, total state revenue has increased every single year.

Quinn’s alleged “budget crisis” is caused by outrageous government spending, only the worst of which is the lavish, gold-plated benefits paid to retired government employees, including downstate and suburban public school teachers and administrators.

For two decades the Illinois General Assembly has increased state spending at double the rate of inflation. They have also passed numerous regulations, such as the ban on smoking, that have hurt businesses. This has caused our business climate ranking to fall to 30th among the states. Our job creation ranking is a disastrous 48th. Should we be surprised that personal and corporate income tax revenue is down?

If Springfield wants the Illinois economy to grow again, they will create a business-friendly environment by cutting burdensome taxes and regulations that stand in the way of business growth and job creation.

Download the print version (pdf) of this ITEF Comment

Download the FY2010 Revenue Analysis (pdf) – data & charts for the first 8 months

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