A top Democrat in the Illinois House says the state’s temporary income tax increase should become permanent.
The money would be used to help fix the state’s underfunded pension systems.
Chris Slaby reports.
When Illinois’ income tax rate went from three-percent to five-percent, it was supposed to begin easing back down after a few years.
Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) said Illinois can’t afford to let that happen.
LANG: “I think most legislators in this building, even those who will never vote to extend that income tax increase, would tell you we need the dollars.”
Lang would dedicate that money to pensions. The retirement system for Illinois workers is the worst-funded in the nation, estimated to be $97 billion dollars short of what it needs to pay future benefits.
Lang’s come out with the latest in a series of plans to address the problem. Like other proposals, his would have school districts and universities take over the employer share of retirement contributions, which are currently paid by the state.
State workers would also feel the pinch, paying three-percent more out of every paycheck, and not being able to retire until age 67.
Asked about the proposal, Governor Pat Quinn says he supported the tax increase with the idea it would eventually roll back. He says, “we’ll go with that.”