SPRINGFIELD (ILLINOIS CAPITOL BUREAU) -- The Illinois Municipal League is concerned with Gov. JB Pritzker's plan to hold 5% of income tax revenues for local governments in reserves, in case his graduated income tax isn't approved by voters in November.
Before 2011, 10% of total income tax collections were given to local governments. That amount has significantly dropped over the years, as only 5.75% was shared with communities for the current fiscal year. Pritzker's proposal would hold $73 million in the reserves.
"It's all currently riding on the graduated income tax, which, if the voters don't wish to adopt, their communities may be penalized," said Illinois Municipal League Executive Director Brad Cole. IML members have not taken a position on the graduated income tax amendment, but the group opposes any plan that would cause more cuts and instability for communities. Cole added, "The municipal share of that sacrifice continues to grow and negatively impact the communities that provide for the health, safety and welfare of residents."
The Springfield City Council recently approved a $130.1 million budget for the next fiscal year. Mayor Jim Langfelder says his budget proposal was approved before Gov. Pritzker's budget address on Feb 19. He says holding funds from local governments is a big issue.
"From the municipality standpoint, we don't want to be the ones harmed because we're called upon to provide those services on a daily basis that everybody expects to receive," Langfelder said.
IML members are working with several Democratic lawmakers to bring the Local Government Distributive Fund back to the 10% threshold. House Bill 158 awaits a third reading on the House floor. Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) is the lead sponsor of the plan that saw movement last year, but stalled in April. Similar plans were introduced in both chambers last month.