Governor lays out budget plan

By Alex Davis |

Published 03/26 2014 05:51PM

Updated 03/31 2014 12:59PM

Update: 10:04 pm, 3/29/14, Saturday
ILLINOIS -- A temporary tax hike could be extended much longer than originally planned. Governor Quinn proposed the plan which many are against. WCIA-3's Alex Davis keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Governor Pat Quinn is looking to extend the temporary tax hike put in place in 2011.

"The truth is, while we've taken some difficult steps to balance the budget, the issue of the expiring revenue this year is a real challenge that will require another hard choice."

He warns taxpayers, if not the tax, massive cuts could come.

"If action is not taken to stabilize our revenue code, extreme and radical cuts will be imposed on education and critical public services."

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute released a survey finding the majority of people don't want the tax increase to be made permanent.

"We heard spending caps three years ago when this tax increase was being imposed and that was going to go away. It's almost like, back to the future. We're having the same conversation over and over again, with the same results and nothing's getting better."

No surprise Republicans are strongly opposed.

"We can't tax our way out of it. We've got to quit spending money we don't have."

Democratic lawmakers say there isn't much room for an alternative.

"People generally don't want to send more money to government. I get that. But, when you ask them do they want cuts in education, do they want cuts in healthcare, or overcrowded prisons, the answer always comes back, 'No.'"

Republicans disagree saying the plan is the wrong approach to a much bigger problem.
Original: 5:51 pm, 3/26/14, Wednesday
ILLINOIS -- Governor Quinn wants to make the temporary income tax hike permanent. He unveiled his 2015 budget plan Wednesday. As you can imagine, lawmakers' opinions are split down the aisle.

Governor Quinn's budget proposal hinges on keeping the 2011 income tax hike. In exchange, he'd give homeowners a property tax credit and fully fund education. That 5% temporary income tax hike would be made permanent.

"The reality is, talking about making this tax permanent, the damage is the fact that what was sold in 2011, was to say that this was going to be temporary, and secondly, that it was going to pay down the backlog of bills in the state of Illinois; but that hasn't occurred."

But, under the governor's budget proposal, that income tax is needed revenue, but Republicans aren't buying it.

"The governor's got a real credibility problem with regards to taxes and tax increases and I'm not sure anyone should get too caught up in the property tax rhetoric that we heard today."

They're calling it a broken promise.

"I just don't know how you can look somebody in the eye and say, 'Oh yeah, trust us this time.'"

But, not everyone thinks it's a bad idea. Many were pleased the the dollars will go towards education.

"Cutting state education funding not only short changes our children, it increases the burden on school districts whose funding is dependent on local property taxes."

Quinn says his plan calls for the biggest education investment in state history.

"The governor did a good job addressing that."

And pushes for a birth-to-five initiative, which came up in his state of the state.

"This was good news for them, and uh, I think we really need to prioritize education because that is our future."

Still others say, the cost of those ideas might be greater than what taxpayers can pay.

"The state's economy is in the tank. The last thing our constituents need is more government spending and higher taxes."

Also, in exchange for keeping income taxes up at 5%, the governor says, the state can afford to give every homeowner a $500 property tax credit going forward.

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