Defending the decision to forge ahead with a five percent income tax rate which was sold in 2011 as “temporary” is something Gov. Pat Quinn and his team is going to spend a lot of time doing this year.
“The governor consistently deferred this issue and said that we would need to take a look at our finances,” said Brooke Anderson, the governor’s spokeswoman. “Because of the hard choices that we made to get to this point, we are in a position to provide historic property tax relief that we were not able to provide five years ago.”
Quinn’s budget speech Wednesday included proposals to keep the income tax at a flat five percent and give the state’s homeowners a $500 refund.
Budget director Jerry Stermer said aside from the unpaid bill backlog and pension obligations, the proposal carries about $200 million in new spending, mostly for early childhood education and college grants.