Defending the decision to forge ahead with a five percent income tax rate which was sold in 2011 as â€śtemporaryâ€ť is something Gov. Pat Quinn and his team is going to spend a lot of time doing this year.
â€śThe governor consistently deferred this issue and said that we would need to take a look at our finances,â€ť said Brooke Anderson, the governor’s spokeswoman. â€śBecause 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.â€ť
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.