SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – Illinois mayors want their money back.
Several mayors say the state is holding income tax revenue it had previously returned to local coffers. In recent years, cities and towns have seen 10 percent of the total, but the mayors say since the personal income tax increase in January, that share has shrunk to 6 percent.
“These funds are designated for municipalities, so this is an area that should be off limits to the state,” said Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole. “The state has had increasing and increasing budgets over the last several years and we just saw a 66 percent increase [2 percentage points] in the state income tax imposed this January, yet the budget deficits have continued to grow. So the issue is not looking within municipalities and their budgets, but looking within the state’s budget, having them balance their activities.”
The mayors say if they lose the $300 million that lawmakers are talking about taking from municipalities, things will get worse at the local level.
“The people that we serve expect, when they pick up that phone, police are going to come, the garbage is going to be picked up, if there’s a fire, somebody’s coming out, my road is going to be plowed,” said Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki. “All of those kinds of municipal services they expect to be done. All of us in this room have balanced budgets.”
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