Illinois Legislature passes big tax hike

Jan. 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Illinois's lame-duck Legislature passed a major income tax hike early Wednesday morning in a victory for Gov. Pat Quinn and Democratic leaders.

Around 1:20 a.m., the Senate voted 30-29 for the bill, which raises the personal income tax rate by two-thirds -- from 3 percent to 5 percent -- and the business income tax rate by 46 percent, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The House passed the bill 60-57 earlier Tuesday night. No Republicans in either chamber went along.

The plan nearly went under in the Senate when black members objected to the House's decision to remove a property-tax relief component and its failure to approve a cigarette tax hike to fund schools, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Quinn met with the black caucus and promised to put $250 million from the income tax increase into schools for each of the next four years.

"We have not paid our bills," Senate President John Cullerton said before the vote. "We are going to have to cut … even with this tax. ... But we are going to have our bills paid."

"You may think your stabilizing this budget but you're not," said Republican Sen. Matt Murphy. "You're bankrupting our state with this bill."

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