HARRISBURG, IL – Illinoisans are already feeling the pain of the income tax increase, as employees saw their take home pay decrease with the first pay period of the new fiscal year, which began on July 1, according to State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).
The Senator said the income tax hits home especially when combined with the climbing cost of regular gasoline blends due to a recent change advanced in the budget that eliminated retailers’ sales tax exemption for E-10 fuel, which will drive up costs on motorists and a number of consumer products.
Though the state is operating with a budget for the first time in two years, lawmakers are expected to return to Springfield in the coming days to address changes to the school funding formula. Due to language inserted into the budget, schools cannot receive state funding until a law is passed that will change the current way schools are funded to what is known as an “evidence-based model.”
This issue is being closely followed by all school districts, but particularly smaller, rural school districts which have seen declining enrollments in recent years, due to population loss to surrounding states. Senator Fowler hopes the General Assembly will come together in support a comprehensive solution to provide adequate funding to Southern Illinois schools, without providing a massive bailout to the failing Chicago Public Schools.
Senator Fowler noted that as a result of the budget passage, some entities began to receive crucial state funds. Universities and community colleges began receiving payments. More than $700 million was released, but those funds released pale in comparison to the massive backlog of $14.8 billion in bills that are owed to thousands of entities across the state.