Gov. Quinn proposes making income tax hike permanent in 2015 Illinois budget address

March 26, 2014 (SPRINGFIELD)

Quinn focused much of his budget speech on his accomplishments since 2009 like, cutting $5.7 billion in spending and reforming the state's Medicaid and pension systems.

''Today the cost of running state government is below 2008 levels,'' Quinn said.

It was not until 20 minutes into the speech that Quinn - trying to avoid a new deficit and education cuts next fiscal year - proposed extending the temporary income tax increase.

''This comprehensive tax reform plan would maintain current income tax rates,'' Quinn said.

To soften the blow, the governor proposed a $500 annual income tax refund for property tax payers.

''It's clearly an election year. It's the kind of rhetoric we hear every three and a half years,'' said House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.

Republicans say Quinn had misspent the $26 billion in revenue generated so far by the temporary tax.

''It's is incredible to me that any tax payer would believe that the next five years will be any different,'' said Senator Christine Radogno, a Minority Leader.

Democratic lawmakers, who used their majority to pass the tax hike in 2011 praised the governor for being honest.

''He was pretty level-headed on giving us the picture,'' said Representative Elizabeth Hernandes.

''We have to go back and explain the state of the budget, what would happen if there's not an extension,'' said Representative Chris Welch.

The governor's opponent, Republican Bruce Rauner, and his fellow Republicans immediately blasted Quinn's proposal, saying he went back on his word because the roughly 67 percent income tax increase approved in 2011 was billed as temporary.

Rauner, issued a statement describing, 'the giant budget mess in Springfield' and wrote that Quinn was 'doubling down on his failed policies.'

Quinn made only a vague reference to Rauner and other critics.

''Those who are telling you that Illinois can tax less and spend less and still expect to fund education are simply not telling you the truth,'' Quinn said.

Quinn also called for increasing the earned income tax credit for low-income families in his budget address.

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