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While We Were Sleeping, Illinois Raised Our Income Tax 66 Percent

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 12, 2011 1:30PM

2011_1_12_statehouse.jpg The Illinois General Assembly burned some midnight oil and passed a 66 percent increase in the state income tax with mere hours to spare before the new General Assembly is to be sworn in today. The votes in the both houses of the State Legislature went straight down party lines; the Senate's vote by left very little room to spare.

The hike was almost derailed in the Senate by the House's decision to remove a property tax rebate from the proposal and failure to approve an added $1 sin tax on cigarettes. Gov. Quinn, showing that he can also negotiate the Art of the Deal, pledged to pump $250 million to public schools each of the next four years to the Senate black caucus as a conciliatory gesture.

Quinn didn't get all he wanted, however. In addition to the cigarette tax, a proposed plan to borrow $8.75 billion to pay the state's bills was scrapped. Plans to expand casinos, including a proposed Chicago casino, and a plan to overhaul state worker's compensation laws also didn't pass muster.

Once Gov. Quinn signs the bill into law, the income tax hike is to take place immediately.