Released October 16, 2020
Do you still have questions about Illinois’ proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution, often referred to as the “Fair Tax”? Over the past several months, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (“CTBA”) has been compiling some of the most frequently asked questions about the Fair Tax and has created this FAQ to help voters understand this ballot initiative.
Released May 5, 2020
This report shows how the data make it quite clear that: Illinois incurred pension debt—under both Republicans and Democrats-- to mask its fiscal problems, not to pay irresponsibly high benefits; Illinois is not a high spending state, and in fact has cut spending on services in real terms by more than 23% since FY2000; that over $9 out of every $10 Illinois, and frankly every other state in America, spends on services goes to the four core areas of Education (including Pre-K, K-12, and Higher Ed), Healthcare, Human Services and Public Safety—meaning those are the services which are imperiled if the feds don’t come through with a significant relief package for state governments suffering revenue loss from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and the Pritzker Administration has actually pushed a number of fiscal initiatives that are actually responsible and counter some of the poor practices of the past.
Released 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.
Released 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.
Released February 18, 2019
One idea that has been proposed by a number of observers to repay some of Illinois’ pension debt is an “asset transfer.” Under this proposal, the state (or the City of Chicago, which is also facing a large pension debt problem) would make a contribution to the pension systems in the form of a pub
Released May 21, 2018
Illinois' five state pension systems face a debt crisis after years of intentional borrowing from state contributions.
Released February 16, 2018
This week, Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget address, revealing his revenue and expenditure proposals for the upcoming year. The governor’s proposal relies on $1.5 billion in cost reductions to balance the budget, including:
Released October 10, 2017
The changes made to Illinois public pension systems in Public Act (PA) 100-0023 (introduced as Senate Bill 42), the Budget Implementation Act, or BIMP, passed on July 6, 2017, and include two primary elements. First, the BIMP creates a new Tier 3 level of benefits for public sector workers.
Released September 27, 2017
Illinois' fiscal year 2018 budget introduced major changes to the state's public pension systems in an attempt to grapple with Illinois' roughly $130 billion in unfunded liabilities. One of the most important aspects of these changes was a new package of benefits.
Governor Rauner’s Amendatory Veto of SB1 Has a Number of Negative Consequences for Schools Across Illinois
Released August 14, 2017
While the Illinois Senate voted on Sunday to override the Governor's amendatory veto (AV) of SB1, the Evidence-Based Model for education funding reform, a new CTBA analysis has identified at least six aspects of the AV that would each threaten the ability of Illinois school districts to reach ade