The Illinois Policy Institute’s previous Illinois Piglet reports highlighted wasteful spending at the state level.
2012 Illinois Piglet Book continues that focus but also places an
emphasis on spending occurring at the local level in Illinois. This
allows Illinoisans to see the waste that’s happening in their own
The spending highlighted in the 2012 Illinois
Piglet Book includes spending from local, state and federal sources
that occurred in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
In 2011, Illinois increased its state income tax rate by 67 percent. This tax increase, the largest in state history, cost the average family about $1,500 in additional taxes. Across school districts, municipalities and other local levels of government, taxpayers have faced myriad other tax increases – from gas and sales taxes to congestion fees and excise taxes. Governments keep crying poor and going to taxpayers for more and more, but they should instead look within their own budgets and cut out wasteful spending.
Illinois’ fiscal nightmare is here. Overspending and a penchant for borrowing have led to an unsustainable pension liability and an $9 billion stack of unpaid bills. The state’s credit rating, already the worst in the nation, faces further downgrades. Many local government entities are also in the red.
But instead of spurring elected officials to initiate reforms, cut spending and eliminate waste, officials are doing more of the same – squandering taxpayers’ hard-earned money on frivolous and wasteful expenditures.