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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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July 2, 2019WTTW Chicago Tonight

It may feel like Illinois, and Chicago in particular, already take a cut of everything and anything that can be taxed – come January, Illinois will even begin to tax rented parking. But in reality, Illinois skips some significant potential sources of tax revenue: There’s no tax on retirement income, for one, and the state taxes only a handful of services (most are utility-related). 

Revenue from a statewide broadened sales tax could bring extra money to both the state and to communities around Illinois that are likewise facing monumental pension pressures, particularly as pro-labor Pritzker is steadfast that he will not look to curb government employees’ and retirees’ benefits (the state constitution hamstrings even those who do favor that approach).

Various groups have long called for Illinois to add a sales tax to services, including the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and the Civic Federation.

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July 1, 2019WTTW Chicago Tonight

“A statewide pension system would involve consolidating various municipal pension systems into one pension system. Under the mayor’s [reported] proposal, not only would the plan be to consolidate it but the state would become responsible for funding various pensions plans,” said Carol Spain, director of U.S. Public Finance at S&P Global.

“[The system] would relieve the local government from needing to levy property taxes or other local taxes to pay for their pension plan,” she said.

But not everybody’s on board. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday at an event celebrating Illinois’ new capital program that the state’s near-junk status would prohibit it from taking on Chicago’s pension woes.

“There are not liabilities that can be adopted by the state that would not drive us into junk status,” he said.

Spain and Daniel Hertz, research director at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, join us in discussion.

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April 29, 2019CAN TV

A conversation on race and politics featuring Roosevelt University Rubloff Professor and CTBA Executive Director Ralph Martire and Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson. This program was recorded by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).



March 11, 2019Crain's Chicago Business

Illinois is one of the very few states that exempts all retirement income from taxation. It is the state’s most expensive exemption, costing Illinois more than $2 billion in foregone annual revenue. From a tax policy standpoint, this makes no sense—all types of income should be treated equally

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March 10, 2019Daily Herald

Too often, major policy initiatives get framed as "either-or" propositions. This is understandable, given how politically driven the legislative process is. Portraying a potential reform as a stark choice between doing what's right, or supporting an alternative that's wrong, is a great way to instill party discipline and gain political advantage. It also ignores the reality that in most complex policy areas, following best practices usually incorporates more of a "both-and" approach, than the politically favored "either-or." A tax systems should incorporate revenue sources that promote both: tax fairness, by responding to ability to pay; and fiscal stability, by ensuring revenues don't fall too precipitously during poor economic cycles.  This isn't a cause of "either-or," but rather "both-and."

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February 24, 2019ABC 7



Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation and Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the bipartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability joined Newsviews this week.

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