The Illinois Senate has approved an income tax increase to raise $5 billion a year aimed at ending the nation's longest state budget crisis since at least the Great Depression.
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 36-18 Tuesday to hike the personal income tax. It would increase the personal rate from 3.75% to 4.95%. Corporations would pay 7% instead of 5.25%.
Republican State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, who has vowed to oppose tax increases in the past, voted no on the proposal.
"We cannot ask Illinois' taxpayers for more revenues without equal or greater amounts of economic reforms and budget cuts. A tax increase, at this time without the prerequisite reforms, will not solve our problems. Voting against this budget was not a decision I made lightly, as there are thousands of constituents that for months have demanded a fiscal plan to end the impasse. I am more than willing to work with the legislative majorities to obtain a real solution to the state's economic predicament."
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has promised to veto the measure because Democrats who control the General Assembly have yet to agree to resolve certain issues. They include statewide property tax relief, cost reductions in workers' compensation and benefits for state-employee pensions, and an easier process for dissolving or eliminating local governments.