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Civic Federation Says Illinois Finances Headed In The Wrong Direction

Illinois is about a quarter of the way into its fiscal year and building up debt along the way.

A new report says it's a return to detrimental policies that landed Illinois in an unstable financial position in the first place.
There was one, glaring question for lawmakers last spring: what were they going to do about the temporary income tax?

Illinois hiked rates in 2011, but only until midway through this fiscal year.  The 5% rate rolls back to 3.75%  in January.

Instead, says Lawrence Msall, they ignored the question.

"This budget, that is the spending plan for FY15, allows - because of gimmicks, because of shifting funds from one  fund to the next and using accounting sleight of hand - actually runs up the unpaid bills by $400 million," he said.

Msall is head of the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan research group focused on maximizing government efficiencies.

He says as it stands now, this year's budget will make it even harder to tackle next year's... when Illinois could face a full year without money from the higher tax rate.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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