Thursday, January 19, 2012

After raising income taxes 67% -- IL still $8.5B in debt...

Topinka: Illinois’ Unpaid Bill Crisis Just Keeps Getting Worse

Illinois keeps falling farther behind on its debt.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, officially, the state has a backlog of more than $4.25 billion in unpaid bills.

(Story continues below...)

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But Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says when one factors in other bills, the figure is closer to around $8.5 billion.

Those other outstanding bills include tax refunds, employee health insurance, and bills that have not yet reached her desk.

Topinka says this is extremely disappointing, since a year ago, the state sharply increased income taxes (by 67 percent) and corporate taxes.

“After the largest tax hike in our history, the state continues to be in this precarious fiscal position with persistent payment delays, and frankly, the situation is unlikely to significantly improve in the near term,” she said.

Some state officials say the solution is more borrowing to pay the bills, but Topinka says the solution is to cut spending.