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updated: 4/10/2014 10:13 AM

Budget cuts may prompt closure of historic Illinois sites

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois preservationists say almost 18 percent of the state's historic sites might close because of potential budget cuts.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports 10 historic sites might have to close starting in July if lawmakers don't make a temporary tax increase permanent. The sites haven't been identified.

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to make the tax increase permanent.

Amy Martin is executive director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. She says lowering the income tax rate from 5 percent to 3.75 percent means the agency's budget would fall to levels not seen in decades.

Martin says that "would be a step backwards in every way."

Illinois oversees 56 historic sites, ranging from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield to smaller operations.

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