Reports

Illinois’ Two-Decade Disinvestment in Higher Education

Release: October 21, 2019

For two decades, Higher Education in Illinois has been cast aside. Despite the evidence and  relationship between educational attainment and economic viability, Higher Education in Illinois continues to be divested.

Since 2000, General Fund appropriation for Higher Education in Illinois has been less than it was in FY2000. While FY2020 appropriations are more than FY2019, they are still not enough to make Higher Education affordable for many students in Illinois. This means that public universities and community colleges must rely more heavily on tuition and fees. In fact, average in-state tuition at an Illinois four-year public university has increased 136.3 percent from FY2000 to FY2017.

As a result, with General Fund appropriations being less than two decades ago and tuition costs increasing, Higher Education has seen an overall decline in enrollment. This negates Illinois’ plan to create a “well-educated workforce with skills and competencies to compete in the modern economy” as intended by The Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success. Hardest hit by the disinvestment in Higher Education are students in Black and Latino households.

In Illinois’ Two-Decade Disinvestment in Higher Education, CTBA analyzes everything from economic impacts of higher educations, General Fund appropriation impacts on Higher Education in Illinois, the reliability of public institutions on tuition and fees, which disproportionately affects low-income students and students of color, and how the growing cost of college has contributed to a decrease in enrollment in our public colleges and universities. 

Update: Addressing Illinois’ Pension Debt Crisis With Reamortization

Release: October 21, 2019

Illinois' five state pension systems face a debt crisis after years of intentional borrowing from state contributions. The crisis is compounded by a backloaded repayment plan that calls for unrealistic, unsustainable state contributions in future years, putting funding for crucial public services at risk. Because the crisis is about debt, rather than benefits being earned by current and future employees, attempts to solve the problem through benefit cuts have failed. CTBA proposes resolving the pension debt crisis by reamortizing our payment schedule, creating a sustainable, level-dollar plan that saves the state $45 billion and gets the pension systems 70 percent funded by 2045. The state of Illinois has foregone $22 billion in savings since CTBA originally proposed to reamortize the debt in 2018. To bridge the higher contributions called for in the first several years of the reamortization plan, CTBA suggests using bonds to ensure current services do not have to be cut.

Impact on Illinois' Structural Deficit

Release: October 21, 2019

The state of Illinois faces a significant structural deficit into the future. The report highlights the nature of the structural deficit and identifies two key causes: the state’s historically flawed  tax policy and the plan devised for repayment of Illinois’ pension debt. CTBA proposes both the adoption of the Fair Tax and a reamortization of the pension debt as described in the report titled: Addressing Illinois’ Pension Debt Crisis With Reamortization. Doing so would allow the State to ensure full funding for the Evidence Based Funding Formula while also improving the status of Illinois’ public employee pension system and eliminating the State’s structural deficit by 2042.

How a graduated rate income tax would help reduce after-tax income inequality in Illinois

Release: May 22, 2019

Since 1979, the nation has seen a rapid and significant increase in income inequality between low- and middle-income Americans on the one hand, and the wealthiest one percent on the other. Over that time span, the bottom 99 percent of American households saw their incomes increase by an average of just 14 percent after inflation. Meanwhile, the wealthiest one percent saw their inflation-adjusted incomes balloon by 175 percent on average—or fully 12.5 times more than the income growth realized by everyone else.

Press Release: A Graduated Rate Income Tax Would Help Reduce After-Tax Income Inequality in Illinois

Release: May 22, 2019

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA) released a report, How a Graduated Rate Income Tax Would Help Reduce After-Tax Income Inequality in Illinois, which shows that the implementation of a graduated rate income tax can reduce the regressivity of Illinois’ state and local tax system while lessening after-tax income inequality, which imposes lower tax rates on lower levels of income and higher rates on higher levels of income,

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