Reports

Analysis of Illinois's FY 2024 Proposed General Fund Budget

Release: May 2, 2023

On February 15, 2023, Governor Pritzker delivered the first budget address of his second term to the 103rd General Assembly. This budget address was markedly different than any previous one delivered by Pritzker—or any other Illinois governor dating back to Jim Edgar in the mid-1990s. The reason: Illinois’ General Fund is in the healthiest fiscal condition it has been for decades.

Things have definitely changed since Governor Pritzker was first sworn into office in 2019. Back then, he inherited an $8 billion backlog of unpaid bills from Governor Rauner’s Administration. A budget hole of that size meant roughly 30 percent of all General Fund expenditures during Rauner’s final year as governor constituted deficit spending. Unfortunately, that was also nothing new, as Illinois had failed to produce anything close to a balanced budget in its General Fund for well over two decades prior.

Reforming the Illinois Estate Tax to Advance Tax Equity and Fund Public Services

Release: April 24, 2023

In collaboration with the University of Illinois School of Labor & Employment Relations Project for Middle Class Renewal, CTBA’s report, “Reforming the Illinois Estate Tax to Advance Tax Equity and Fund Public Services” provides a historical overview of the Estate Tax in Illinois. In addition, the report highlights how the Estate Tax can be used as good, sound fiscal policy in today’s economy. Even more, this report estimates how changes to the Illinois Estate Tax policy could have significant impacts on future Illinois budgets

Issue Brief: CPPRT and K-12 Education Funding in Illinois

Release: April 19, 2023

Between FY 2022 and FY 2023, aggregate Personal Property Replacement Tax ("PPRT") revenue for all school districts increased by a record 76 percent. As things stand today, more record growth in PPRT revenue is projected for FY 2024. That revenue is a welcome addition to school district resources, however, if the projections for FY 2024 prove to be accurate, it will mean that collectively over the FY 2020 through FY 2024 sequence, the statewide Adequacy Gap under the Evidence Based Funding formula was reduced at a significantly faster rate because the local revenue increased at a faster rate over this time period compared to the increase in state-based revenue (new Tier funding).

CTBA’s most recent report highlights how the Personal Property Replacement Tax is a relatively odd revenue source that allocates revenue to school districts in accordance with their respective collections of Personal Property Tax revenue in either 1976 or 1977 and how this revenue source has big impacts on Illinois education policy. 

Why Illinois Should Enhance its Investment in Higher Education

Release: March 28, 2023

After adjusting for inflation, state funding for Illinois colleges and universities has fallen by nearly 50% since 2000, while tuition has more than doubled, making it increasingly difficult for students from low- and middle-income families generally, and Black and Latinx students specifically, to afford getting a higher education degree. Despite growing evidence that a college degree is more important than ever for success in the labor market and in spite of recent funding increases, the report finds that, after inflation, Illinois’ General Fund support for Higher Education has declined significantly over the last two decades, and is 46 percent less now in real terms than in 2000. To help make up for that loss of General Fund support, the average annual student tuition and fee cost of attending a public four-year university in Illinois increased by 115 percent—after inflation—between 2000 and 2021. This Report both documents the positive impact gaining a college education has on everything from wages, economic development, and community health and wellbeing, to social mobility, and calls upon the Illinois General Assembly to invest adequate resources in higher education.

Educating Illinois: A Look at the Evidence-Based Funding Formula

Release: March 8, 2023

After six years of implementation, five of which included new year-over-year funding, Illinois’ school funding formula – the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF – has worked towards its promise of closing Illinois’ drastic funding and achievement gaps between schools in property-rich and property-poor districts, as well as between schools in predominantly white communities and schools that serve predominantly students of color. The EBF accomplishes this by distributing new K-12 funding to those districts that are furthest away from having the resources to fund their respective “Adequacy Targets” – which is the amount the research indicates is required to provide the level of education the students they serve need to succeed academically.

The EBF replaced an old formula that was based on a one-size-fits-all “Foundation Level” of per-pupil funding that was both inadequate in amount and inequitable in distribution. Indeed, the state’s historic investment in K-12 has been so inadequate that local property tax revenue became the primary method of funding education. But after six years of the EBF, the formula has proven that it is working as intended to counter historic inequities by investing more at the state level each year, closing Adequacy Funding Gaps for students in every region of the state and of every race and ethnicity.

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