Obama's Hometown Struggling Financially as Taxes Drive People Away

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A pair of Illinois lawmakers are calling for spending caps as state government continues to tax more and spend more despite the state’s declining population.

The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability provided its revenue estimate for the coming fiscal year to lawmakers this week. The commission projects the state will bring $37.5 billion in to its General Revenue Fund, nearly $800 million more than the current fiscal.

Personal income tax is up more than half a million, something COGFA notes is from the increased income tax rates. The commission also notes Illinoisans pay twice as much in income tax to the state than they did a decade ago.

Americans for Prosperity Illinois State Director Andrew Nelms said Illinois isn’t doing well.

“And it’s not because the taxpayers aren’t doing their fair share and aren’t pulling their weight,” Nelms said.

“In nominal dollars, taxpayers are paying double in personal income taxes than they were just a few years ago.”

Because the state’s population continues to shrink, the tax burden is mounting for those who remain.

Lawmakers, over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto last summer, hiked the individual income tax rate by 32 percent, from 3.75 to 4.95 percent. They also passed a budget that spends every bit of that, and then some, leaving the current budget out of balance.

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, said Illinois doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

“The talking point that we need new revenue is false and over 10 years we’ve double the amount of revenue we’ve collected, actually more than doubled the amount of revenue we’ve collected,” Skillicorn said.

“It’s a spending problems. It’s a significant spending problem.”

 Skillicorn and state Sen. Tom Cullerton are calling for spending caps.

Cullerton, D-Villa Park, said taxpayers want to see the state living within its means.

“So the goal is eventually to turn Illinois instead of being a state full of liabilities, (into) a state that has reserve funds (and) utilize that for better projects,” Cullerton said.

Both Cullerton and Skillicorn have constitutional amendments in their respective chambers that would cap the state’s spending the following year to the growth of the state’s economic output, measured by gross domestic product.

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