Hidden Budget Items Cost Taxpayers Even More

Rep. Jeanne Ives
The 583-page state budget bill that most legislators were only given 45 minutes or so to read before having to vote on it contains several “hidden” provisions that will cost taxpayers and local communities millions of dollars above and beyond the income tax hike that was passed the same day in a separate bill. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most egregious hidden costs in the state’s new budget:

Gasoline tax hike
Politicians in Springfield snuck language into the budget that increases the state’s sales tax on gasoline by five cents per-gallon. You might think this additional revenue will go into a fund to pay for much-needed road repairs and highway safety projects, but you would be wrong. The extra gasoline sales tax revenue is going straight into the state’s general fund, where politicians can spend it on whatever they want. So much for transparency.

2% “collection fee” on funds owed to local communities
Finding yet another way to stick it to local taxpayers, the new state budget imposes a 2 percent “collection fee” on sales taxes for local governments by the Illinois Department of Revenue.

According to an analysis by the Illinois Municipal League, this handling charge will apply to sales taxes levied by local governments, including not only cities, townships and counties, but also the Regional Transportation Authority and levies by the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority on automobile rentals and hotels. The Municipal League estimates this will cost local governments and the residents they serve $60 million dollars per year.

Bondholder bailout = sticking it to taxpayers
Local governments often borrow money in the form of bonds as a way to pay debt and help finance essential services. A provision in the state’s new budget implementation bill makes a radical change, providing that even in the case of municipal bankruptcy, when cash-strapped Illinois cities and villages are dead broke, payment to bondholders is guaranteed at the expense of essential taxpayer services. This bill allows municipalities to increase their debt load while putting bondholders ahead of taxpayers.

I led the fight in Springfield to expose this bill and its harmful consequences.   I highlighted it 4 months ago.  It is shameful that the media, especially Crain’s, is just now writing about this provision after it has passed into law.  This one item shows who the Democrat majority care about most. To read more about this issue, please click HERE.

I will continue to shine a light on what is in the state budget and how the failure of Springfield politicians only adds to the hardship on Illinois’ hardworking families and taxpayers. Stay tuned for more.

Keep reading for links to news articles on the issues highlighted above.  

Rep. Ives: Keeping You Informed

Gas Tax Hike Hidden in Illinois Budget” ABC 7 Chicago: Now that Illinois has a budget, people are taking a closer look at some of the hidden costs associated with this deal. Tucked inside the 583-page budget bill are a few pages that detail a hidden tax hike. It's expected to raise $95 million for the state, but it means we'll be paying more every time we fill up our gas tank…read the full story here

Surprise Hit to Local Agencies Tucked Into the Budget” Crain’s Chicago Business:  a little-noticed provision in the budget implementation bill imposes a 2 percent "collection fee" on sales taxes gathered for the locals by the Illinois Department of Revenue…read the full story here

Sweeny: Illinois Budget Nothing to Cheer About” Rockford Register-Star:  We have a new budget in Illinois. The way it was done is a farce, and it just kicks the can down the road. This is not a positive development…read the full story here

Why Are Illinois Democrats Preparing to Bail Out Bankers and Cash-Strapped Local Governments?” Illinois Policy InstituteDemocrats are moving at least five bills in the General Assembly that would encourage more borrowing by local governments and would make sure banks and bondholders get paid first – ahead of social service agencies, pensioners and anyone else owed money – if those governments go broke.… read the full story here

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