Pension costs for state government workers reached an all-time high in 2016, consuming 25 percent of the state’s general budget.1 Today, more than $8 billion of the state’s yearly $32 billion budget goes to pay for pension costs, sapping tremendous amounts of money from social services for the developmentally disabled, grants for low-income college students, and aid to home...View Report
State and local tax hikes in Illinois have hurt economic growth, lowered the standard of living, and contributed to out-migration.
Despite Illinois’ billions in deficit spending and skyrocketing debt, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Bill 278, which would transfer an additional $300 million per year of state income tax funds to local governments, continuing to prop up local overspending that fuels high property taxes.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle grow more and more powerful as the size of state and local government increases.
In 2015 alone, Illinois state government redistributed more than $12 billion in income and other taxes to local governments. These financial shell games have created a needlessly complex system and make it difficult for local taxpayers to hold their governments accountable.
Income-tax revenue represents just one-sixth of the $6.1 billion the state gives to local governments every year. Proposed reforms would leave untouched the vast majority of that money.
If taxpayers can get a bigger bang for their buck, they should get it.
Local governments must pare their budgets, forcing them to identify best practices they should have found already.
Lake County gets back just 73 cents for every dollar it pays into the LGDF.
DuPage County gets back just 79 cents for every dollar it pays into LGDF.
Voter support for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed revenue-sharing reforms could be stronger than reticence from municipal officialdom would imply.