In what’s become an unwelcomed General Assembly tradition, the state’s budget was rushed through the legislature during the final hours of the last day of session. This year’s budget was chalk full of election-year gimmicks and new permanent spending.
The FY23 budget spends $46.5 billion, which sets the record for the most spending in state history. This is a billion dollars more than what the Governor presented at his February Budget Address.
In addition to the spending, Democrat lawmakers presented temporary tax relief totaling $1.8 billion that just so happens to end shortly after the upcoming 2022 elections. The short-term relief includes freezing the motor fuel tax inflationary increase for six months, suspending the one percent sales tax on just groceries for a year, and a one-time property tax income tax credit rebate check.
On the other hand, Senate Republicans proposed a legislative package of permanent tax relief that included capping the state’s sales tax on gas at 18 cents per gallon, cutting the one percent sales tax on food and prescription, increasing the senior income tax exemption from $1,000 to $2,000, increasing the property tax income tax credit from 5 percent to 10 percent, and creating a childcare credit in an amount equal to 25 percent of the federal tax credit for each qualifying child.
State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) says that state lawmakers had a golden opportunity to provide real relief to Illinois families struggling to keep up with high inflation and out-of-control taxes. She is extremely disappointed that the Majority Party chose to only provide gimmicky relief that expires after our state’s election is over.