* The Tribune takes a look at the impact of the temporary tax increase sunset 13 months from now…
At the end of next year, what was billed as a temporary income tax hike will by law drop to 3.75 percent unless lawmakers and the governor decide to continue it.
Oddly, the income tax would be cut in the middle of the state’s budget year. That gives planners a bit of a cushion, though the expiration of the tax hike still is estimated to take $2.2 billion out of state coffers for the final six months of the budget year that starts July 1. […]
The should-it-stay-or-should-it-go tax hike question is likely to be a big issue in the race for governor. The fate of the tax hike will have a major impact on whoever is sitting in the governor’s office come 2015. That’s supposed to be the first full year of a lowered income tax and legislative budget forecasters predict a $4.8 billion loss in revenue. It’s a tough number for even the biggest budget cutter to hit.
The politicians in Springfield have a few paths: Pass a half-year budget. Stick money in lump sums rather than line items so dollars are harder to track. Tell voters the candidate for governor who wins the November election should get to shape his budget. Delay payment of more bills and so forth.
Maybe even “all of the above.”
* The Question: If a Republican is elected governor next year, what do you think he’ll do about the tax hike sunset? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.