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CTBA experts are available to provide insight, analysis, and data to the press on a wide range of public policy issues. In addition, CTBA disseminates new research and timely updates on policy developments to the media.

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February 12, 2015WTTW

As lawmakers and stakeholders await Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal next week, the Institute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability at the Civic Federation has released a five-year roadmap that it says will stabilize state finances and protect government services.

.......While the group’s plan calls for a rate hike, it wants to see the income tax drop on Jan. 1, 2018 to 4 percent for individuals and 5.6 percent for corporations. Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, says while income tax rates do need to be adjusted, it’s not sound policy to temporarily increase the rates and call for a rollback in three years.

“You’re implementing artificial changes in policy that aren’t based on anything economically driven – rather, they’re politically driven,” Martire said. “The problem with our revenue system isn’t temporary, it’s structural.”

Martire says a more sound approach is to adjust the rates to account for the gap between the revenue Illinois takes in and what it spends on services, like education and health care.

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January 21,

In January 2013, Time Magazine featured the story “Why Illinois is Going Bankrupt.” It pronounced the state’s financial prognosis as terminal, with little hope of recovery. From its gaping annual billion-dollar deficit, to its bulging unpaid pension debt and revenue-draining Medicaid, Time

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January 21, 2015State Journal-Register

Bruce Rauner is Illinois' first Republican governor in more than a decade.

If that isn't enough to shake things up, Rauner also never had held elected office, so there's no track record to assess. This means his policy "to-do" list is somewhat of an unknown, except in one area: education.

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November 13, 2014Bloomberg

Illinois Governor-elect Bruce Rauner won a mandate to fix the finances of the lowest-rated U.S. state. Investors are signaling the Republican’s got his work cut out for him to avert a credit downgrade closer to junk.

“….A broader sales tax would generate about $600 million of revenue, and wouldn’t cover lost tax revenue, according to the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, which calls itself a bipartisan, nonprofit research group.

“We can’t cut our way out of this problem,” said Amanda Kass, the center’s research director. “The revenue loss is so huge that we’d be looking at serious cuts to K-through-12 education, to higher education, public safety.” 

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November 11, 2014Progress Illinois

Hundreds of Chicagoans hit the city's downtown streets Tuesday afternoon to rally for economic justice and demand action from their elected officials on policies important to working families.

The demonstration, held one week after the midterm elections, focused on several key demands, including approval of a state minimum wage increase to $10.65 an hour during the upcoming veto session, adoption of a $15 hourly minimum wage in Chicago and an elected school board in the city.

Activists also called for the reopening of six public mental health clinics that closed in 2012 and immediate reforms to the Chicago Housing Authority. The call for CHA reforms follows a recent fiscal review by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, which showed the housing authority has built up large cash reserves in recent years primarily by socking away millions in federal funds intended for housing vouchers.

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Why is the state of Illinois is such bad economic shape, getting worse all the time?

Because, according to Ralph Martire, the Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (a non-partisan organization, that is, supported by and responsible to both political parties) we have an outdated and perverse tax system which can never provide the revenue needed for us to have a healthy economy.

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October 10, 2014Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press - Franklin Park and Northlake, “School funding bill makes local superintendents nervous,” Martire said first the state has to get its own financial affairs in order.

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September 27, 2014State Capitol Bureau

A split over the future of the temporary income tax increase provides one of the starkest differences between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner in the 2014 campaign for governor. Quinn believes the income tax increase should be made permanent. Rauner thinks income tax rates should be rolled back to their pre-tax hike levels — eventually. But the fate of the income tax increase isn’t the only tax issue raised by the two this year. 

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September 12, 2014Reboot Illinois

new poll shows incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn leading Republican candidate Bruce Rauner by 3 percentage points, the first time Quinn has led Rauner since the March primaries, and in the 17 polls since then.

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September 11, 2014Chicago Sun-Times

University of Illinois officials last week said that a higher percentage of students accepted at the U. of I. are deciding to go elsewhere because financial aid is insufficient. It’s another sign that Illinois’ continuous cuts are gradually eroding the state’s higher education system.

If you adjust for inflation, Illinois’ investment in higher education has been cut by 40 percent since 2000, according to the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. The share of costs borne by the state has dropped from nearly half a decade ago to less than 15 percent. To keep universities afloat, tuition has soared. State funding has dropped so much that people joke we no longer have state universities, just universities in the state.

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