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updated: 5/22/2013 9:51 PM

Senate budget could freeze suburbs' tax share

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  • A Senate budget proposal could mean less state money for local towns.

      A Senate budget proposal could mean less state money for local towns.
    File photo

  • Tom Cullerton

      Tom Cullerton

  • Fred Crespo

      Fred Crespo

 
 

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Senate Democrats could propose a budget that would freeze individual suburbs' share of the state's income taxes, an idea local mayors have fought hard against in recent years.

But state Sen. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat and former mayor, said the proposal wouldn't be as harsh a cut in tax revenue as Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing.

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Suburbs would typically see how much money they get from state income taxes rise every year as state revenues rise.

Senate Democrats could propose freezing how much they get next year at what they're getting now. Quinn has proposed giving towns as much as they were getting two years ago, less than what they get now.

Cullerton said not gaining more money is better for suburbs than losing money.

"I would like it to go up but would much prefer to stay flat," he said.

Any Senate budget proposal must be approved by the House and Quinn, too, so plans are subject to change as lawmakers stare down a May 31 budget deadline.

State Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat and House budget committee chairman, said lawmakers in the chamber might not be interested in reducing how much tax money the state sends to local officials.

"I don't think there's an appetite to do that," Crespo said.

Local mayors argue the state shouldn't foist its immense budget problems onto them.

Lawmakers have more big issues than usual to digest before their annual session is scheduled to end, and budget talks have largely been kept behind closed doors. So local mayors can't be sure what to expect.

"It's almost a little disconcerting we haven't heard anything at this point," said Illinois Municipal League spokesman Joe McCoy.

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