Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn delivers his annual budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly in the House chambers at the state Capitol March 26, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn said making Illinois’ temporary income tax increase permanent should prevent “extreme and radical” state budget cuts, a politically difficult trade-off revealed Wednesday that’s likely to be a major issue during his tough re-election bid.
The Chicago Democrat tied his push for extending the increase to relief for homeowners, saying he’d like to guarantee every Illinoisan who pays property tax a $500 annual refund. He also used his budget address to call for increasing the earned income tax credit for low-income families.
But the ideas — particularly the income tax extension — give Quinn’s Republican challenger, businessman Bruce Rauner, fodder to attack him and set up what’s expected to be a tough budget battle already heightened by election year scrutiny.
Still, Quinn predicted dire cuts without the tax extension. And Democrats, who control both the Illinois House and Senate, said they’d support the move.
“If action is not taken to stabilize our revenue code, extreme and radical cuts will be imposed on education and critical public services,” Quinn said in the roughly 30-minute address before lawmakers. “Cuts that will starve our schools and Login to read more