Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the General Assembly should decide whether to keep the state’s temporary income tax increase sooner rather than later.
Topinka says she’s in favor of letting the hike expire at the end of 2014, but warns that the state has to do something about the $5 billion in lost revenue.
“I’m also practical enough to know that it will leave a horrendous hole,” Topinka said. “Before it expires, I want to know what you intend to do with the hole.”
The important part, according to Topinka, is not waiting until the end of the year to decide whether to extend the tax, make it permanent, or allow it to lapse. If the hike doesn’t expire, Topinka hopes the money would be used to pay some of the state’s $7.6 billion in overdue bills, though she admits that’s wishful thinking.
“We’ve gone down that road before and it was a very short road,” Topinka said.
If the increase does expire, the personal income tax rate will fall to 3.75 percent.