It’s official: Illinois has a budget. Your taxes are going up. – Government News

on Jul7

6 July 2017 | 8:15 pm

The Illinois House has voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill to raise the state’s income tax, the first and most difficult of a series of votes expected today to give the state its first budget in three years.

The action came on a largely party-line vote of 71-42, the bare number needed, with GOP lawmakers who broke from Rauner in passing the bill last week joining with all but a handful of Democrats to finalize the tax increase.

Since the Senate already had voted for an override, the action means that, effective July 1, the individual income tax will rise from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and the corporate rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent. The action also sets the stage for what is likely to be a no-holds-barred race for governor next year between Rauner, seeking a second term, and one of a half-dozen Democrats who are vying to take him on in the general election.

In an eerie touch to an already volatile situation, the vote was delayed for about two hours by a hazmat emergency at the Capitol that forced the building to be put on lockdown. Authorities later determined that a white powder distributed at Rauner’s office and some other locations was not dangerous, and made at least one arrest.

The delay did not tone down the strong arguments on both sides of the issue.

“The options (to higher taxes) are a financial meltdown,” with state bonds certain to be lowered to junk levels, argued Rep. Steven Andersson, R-Geneva. “Give the state a chance, and continue to work” on the structural changes in pensions, workers’ compensation and other matters that Rauner wants.

“We can’t keep stalling,” countered Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Aurora, warning that one watchdog has said a downgrade to junk levels still may be on the way because the state hasn’t fully addressed its long-term financial hole. “Real reforms are required.”

Update, 4:30 p.m.—Minutes after, the vote on the tax hike: the budget was approved 74-37 and the budget implementation bill 71-41.

Here’s the House roll call on the tax vote. There were a few changes from last week, but not many.

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