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U of I Expert: State Can’t Afford to Roll Back Tax Hike
U of I Expert: State Can’t Afford to Roll Back Tax Hike

The authors of a new report from the U of I probably would not get many votes if they run for the Illinois General Assembly.

David Merriman, a professor of public administration, says Illinois is headed for a fiscal cliff even with the income tax where it is, five percent, to say nothing of allowing it to decline to three and three quarters percent after next year.

Merriman is one of three authors of a study put out by the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs.  He sees little Illinois can cut:

“A large share of the budget is for K-12 education, where, many people think, we already rely too much on local government,” says Merriman, “and for Medicaid and other kinds of human services programs which serve low-income and vulnerable populations.  The cuts that have been made up to now … are painful.  So I don’t think there’s an easy way out.”

It will take a vote to keep the higher tax enacted in 2011. Merriman says lawmakers haven’t shown the stomach for that kind of tough vote.