Tax and Budget

Turnaround Fact Sheet #1: Workers' Compensation

Release: March 16, 2017

This is the first in a series of CTBA Fact Sheets reviewing the proposals in Governor Bruce Rauner's "Turnaround Agenda," which the Governor's office has made a precondition of signing any state budget.

Seeing Improvements, Questioning Priorities: Updating "A Fiscal Review of the Chicago Housing Authority"

Release: January 13, 2017

In 2014, CTBA released a report showing that the Chicago Housing Authority had accumulated over $400 million in reserves, in part by issuing an average of 13,000 fewer housing vouchers per year than the Authority was funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to do.

Fact Sheet: The Safe Roads Amendment Is Bad Policy for Illinois

Release: October 31, 2016

A proposed Constitutional amendment to put transportation-related revenues in a "lockbox" for transportation-related expenditures would only exacerbate the fiscal problems of both Illinois and its local governments.

Illinois General Fund Spending in FY2016: How Elected Officials Cut Billions in Core Service Expenditures While Worsening the Deficit—All Without Casting a Vote

Release: October 27, 2016

In FY2016, the failure to pass a comprehensive General Fund budget resulted in larger deficits as well as deep cuts to core services like Public Safety—even without anyone having to cast a vote.

Illinois on Autopilot, the Reality of FY2016

Release: February 16, 2016

In both magnitude and meaning, state elected officials have no greater obligation than passing a General Fund budget into law. Consider magnitude first. Last fiscal year the General Fund budget provided for the expenditure of $35 billion. No question, that constitutes a sizeable expenditure of taxpayer money. It is also meaningful. While nearly $11 billion was targeted for Hard Costs like debt service and other legally mandated payments, over $24 billion was invested in current services across communities statewide. In fact, over 90 percent of FY2015 General Fund expenditures on services covered education (35 percent), healthcare (30 percent), human services (21 percent), and public safety (7 percent). To be clear, it is those services which provide for the basic health and well-being of the citizenry, and go to the very heart of why we elect a Governor and General Assembly in the first place.

By failing to pass a General Fund budget for FY2016, elected officials are basically punting the following difficult, but fundamental, responsibilities to: 

  • Make decisions about how to allocate scarce resources among the aforesaid four service priorities;
  • Identify which of, and by how much, those services will be cut, despite their high priority, if the state’s current woeful fiscal condition is not addressed; or
  • Raise the tax revenue needed to fund those core services to the amounts needed to satisfy demographically driven demand.

 

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