illinois revenue

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Budget Office released its estimates of Illinois’ budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic for this fiscal year and next fiscal year, and they’re in the billions of dollars.  Meanwhile, the state is considering how and when to reopen the economy.  From Chicago, WBEZ’s Dave McKinney joins the panel.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Concerns over the Illinois state budget are growing with the increasing impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s economy. 

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With the dysfunction in Illinois politics, state government this year is projected to spend as much as $13 billion more than it will collect in taxes. And the situation could be getting worse.

Illinois has hit a cash flow problem and will not be ably to make its monthly pension payment in November and possibly December. The state's inability to cover its expenses has some asking the question: will Illinois run out of money?

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

As Illinois faces major budget problems, everyone has a different answer for which services to cut and which taxes to raise.

Mike Nobis is worried. His commercial printing company has been in Quincy, Illinois for 108 years. He says he's struggling to compete with other companies, especially those across the border in Missouri.

Illinois' current sales tax does not cover most services. Nobis says if that tax is expanded to cover the printing industry, he might go out of business.

Although the search for a way out of the state’s public pension mess has been the focal point in Springfield for the past two years, it’s not the only fiscal question mark looming over Illinois’ political landscape.

But unlike the years-long build-up that led to the slow-motion pension train wreck, this potential debacle has a timeline that’s crystal clear. On January 1, 2015, the first phase of the state’s temporary 2011 income tax increase will expire, potentially blowing a projected $2.2 billion hole in the state’s revenue stream.

Bethany Jaeger
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Democrats and Republicans fully expected to make tough choices this year. As they react to the 17th month of a national recession and a $12.4 billion deficit projected for next year, Illinois lawmakers are on the hot seat now.

Gov. Pat Quinn proposed his own plan that would trim spending and generate new revenues. Some of his money-making ideas are expected to create tough votes for lawmakers before May 31, the day they’re supposed to adjourn the spring legislative session. 

Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues


Dark clouds could be on the horizon for state coffers, as the slumping national economy appears to be eroding the upbeat revenue forecasts used to craft this year's state budget. The bad news came in reports last month from state Comptroller Dan Hynes and from the legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. The findings include the following: