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On Income Tax, Rauner's Budget Plan Doesn't Match Campaign Rhetoric

Bruce Rauner
Rich Saal
The State Journal-Register (pool)
Gov. Bruce Rauner shakes hands with House Speaker Michael Madigan, left, and Senate President John Cullerton. He was delivering his 2018 budget message.

When out campaigning, Governor Bruce Rauner has been making big claims about lowering taxes. But there was little follow-through in Wednesday's budget proposal.

Just last week, Rauner told Sangamon County Republicans not only would he work to block a progressive income tax, but he’d try to get taxes “down lower from where they are today, and bring them back down to 3 percent over the next two years."

The budget proposal made no mention of 3 percent and no mention of two years.

Instead, he talked about lowering taxes to 4.7 percent — a 0.25 percentage point drop from the current rate — and with no deadline.

The reduction would come only after Illinois makes cuts in pension benefits for teachers and state workers — something court challenges would likely delay for years.

(Audio of Rauner at the Sangamon County Lincoln Day Dinner posted by The State Journal-Register's "Under the Dome" podcast.)

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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