If there’s one message many Illinois politicians and civic groups want taxpayers to hear this budget season, it’s that there’s no fixing Illinois’ fiscal and economic mess without a multibillion-dollar tax hike.
Tax-hike proponents also want residents to believe the Illinois General Assembly has already passed all the structural reforms it can, and the only thing left to do now is to hike taxes by $7 billion to $9 billion – and that will fix everything.
But that narrative is false. The General Assembly has done nothing to stop Illinois’ downward spiral.
The Illinois Policy Institute’s 2018 Budget Solutions offers a plan that reverses the state’s failed course. The plan fills Illinois’ $7.1 billion budget hole, balances the state budget without tax hikes, provides tax relief to struggling homeowners through a comprehensive property tax reform package, and implements pension reforms that comply with the Illinois Constitution and will begin to end the pension crisis.
It also implements many of the spending and economic reforms Illinoisans instinctively know are needed to create more jobs, generate higher pay and provide a better living environment, including right-sizing state worker benefits, implementing savings for Medicaid and making higher education more affordable for students by reducing administrative costs.
The Institute’s plan is as follows:
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