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More budget news

Friday, Feb 23, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Dave McKinney last year

With tax season approaching, millions of Illinoisans won’t be seeing a bump up in a widely used state tax credit known as the standard exemption after lawmakers throttled a planned increase in the credit for the 2023 tax year.

Tucked within a 558-page revenue package, the little-noticed tax change came about last spring with passage of the state budget omnibus package approved by the Democratic-led General Assembly and enacted by Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker. […]

Prior to the 2023 tax year, the standard exemption increased 10 times under an automatic escalator tied to inflation put into effect in 2012 by former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who served as the state’s chief executive between 2009 and 2015. The change roughly a decade ago had overwhelming bipartisan support in the legislature.

But the standard exemption will remain flat this tax-filing season at $2,425 for those who declare adjusted gross income of $250,000 or less individually or $500,000 or less for married couples.

* Dave McKinney this week

An inflation-indexed tax credit that millions of Illinoisans receive would rise for the 2024 tax year under a $93 million proposal by Gov. JB Pritzker, but the increase is short of what current law dictates and what legislative Republicans and former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn want.

The possible increase in the standard exemption from $2,425 to $2,550 per person was included within Pritzker’s proposed $52.7 billion budget proposal he outlined Wednesday.

Pritzker’s proposed change would amount to slightly less than $25 in savings for a family of four over 2023 tax year levels, according to calculations by WBEZ. […]

When Pritzker and Democrats instead decided last year to keep the $2,425 amount in effect for the 2023 tax year, the law was written so the inflation escalator would resume for the 2024 tax year and continue in place through the 2028 tax year.

That meant the standard exemption would automatically rise to $2,775 for tax year 2024.

That’s $225 more than what Pritzker is now proposing — setting up a scenario where lawmakers doing nothing on the governor’s proposal this spring actually would be more generous for taxpayers than what Pritzker is floating.

I explained this to subscribers yesterday morning. I’d suggest clicking the links if you don’t quite get it. I can only excerpt so much.

But the bottom line is the governor essentially decided to skip an increase in the standard exemption during a major inflationary year and then restarted the cost of living clock, likely because it would’ve been an even bigger hit to the budget than the $93 million this will cost.

* Here’s more…

       

14 Comments
  1. - Route 50 Corridor - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 9:26 am:

    Suspending the sales tax would be disasterous for municipalities. In my community of roughly 9k we would have a 600 to 800K hole in our budget. Without a way to make up for that I see no way of moving that forward.


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 9:45 am:

    Route 50 Corridor, could your municipality not pass its own sales tax on groceries? (honest question)


  3. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 9:48 am:

    “… a whole string of unintended consequences … .”

    This is why the sales tax should be one of the last taxes the State raises.


  4. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 10:37 am:

    ==could your municipality not pass its own sales tax on groceries? ==

    The Governor’s office says they can. But good luck with that.

    And eliminating the grocery tax is going to be supported by the masses. We’ll see how much clout the IML has in stopping this but arguing to keep the tax is going to make anyone look bad unless they can draw a clear line to things that will be cut from municipal services if this happens and even then I think it’s a heavy lift to successfully oppose this.


  5. - Route 50 Corridor - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 10:39 am:

    Michelle Flaherty
    I don’t believe even a home rule sales tax would cover food. It pretty much covers the same things that school facilities, road sales tax and the business district tax covers.


  6. - Route 50 Corridor - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 10:41 am:

    I don’t know of a mechanism for that in current state law. Additional sales taxes, i.e. school facility, road tax, business district, do not apply to “groceries” and other certain things.


  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 10:54 am:

    ===I don’t believe even a home rule sales tax would cover food===

    Groceries do not appear to be exempt https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=006500050HArt%2E+8+Div%2E+11&ActID=802&ChapterID=14&SeqStart=95300000&SeqEnd=98600000


  8. - Route 50 Corridor - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 11:09 am:

    From Department of Revenue.
    Both taxes are imposed on the same general merchandise base as the state sales tax, excluding tangible personal property that must be titled or registered by an agency of state government (i.e., vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, trailers, and mobile homes), and qualifying food, drugs and medical appliances.


  9. - Anthony - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 11:22 am:

    Illinois is very well ran


  10. - Route 50 Corridor - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===Illinois is very well ran===
    I sense Doom Grifter in that statement. Seriously it is significantly better ran today that 7 years ago. I dont think that is even a question.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 12:52 pm:

    “Suspending the sales tax would be disasterous for municipalities”

    This should be of grave concern to state lawmakers. Part of the inflation problem is corporate greed. The wealthiest corporations were willingly lavished by many of those who are hurting under inflation. The massive corporate giveaways done by the former president haven’t trickled down to consumers (feigns shock). Municipalities should not have to be hurt by those who support this type of economic policy to their own harm.


  12. - JS Mill - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 12:54 pm:

    =Illinois is very well ran=

    Is it well run as well?


  13. - very old soil - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 1:24 pm:

    Al, what $6 billion tax increase?


  14. - Former Downstater - Friday, Feb 23, 24 @ 4:23 pm:

    == could your municipality not pass its own sales tax on groceries?==

    When the state suspended the grocery tax, I still had to pay county and local taxes.

    So that would seem to suggest they can.


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