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Temporary Tax Hike Passes House Committee

By Anthonia Akitunde in News on May 30, 2009 9:10PM

House Democrats passed a 50 percent income tax hike for the next two years today, but final approval is still questionable as the General Assembly moves one day closer to adjourning.The proposal was a move to get lawmakers who didn't approve of Quinn's permanent hike on board. Although Quinn has previously said he wouldn't stand for a permanent hike, he "backed off that position today," the Chicago Tribune reports. Republicans say they "aren't ready" to vote for a tax hike, noting it also includes increasing the cigarette tax and decreasing public pension plan payments.

Moving the income tax from 3 percent to 4.5 percent would bring in $4.5 billion a year to staunch Illinois' $11.6 billion budget deficit, according to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago). It would also keep some of the more devastating cuts to education, health care and social and human services proposed by Quinn in his doomsday budget from happening, testified Gov. Pat Quinn's chief of staff, Jerry Stermer. Some lawmakers estimate anywhere to $5-7 billion in cuts being made. [Tribune]