Republicans are sticking to their message of smaller government and tax cuts… but a top GOP official is warning that the state may not be able to let its temporary tax increase expire on schedule.
The income tax hike approved a couple of years ago is scheduled to expire in 2014. But State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is still wrestling with billions of dollars in unpaid bills… and is expressing concern about cuts in state funding for vital social services.
Appearing live on 970 WMAY’s “Jim Leach Show,” Topinka conceded that if she were asked her opinion, she would tell the governor and legislative leaders that Illinois can’t afford to lose the revenue from the tax hike.
"I don’t know how they’re going to do that without it," Topinka said, "because you know what’s amazing is even with that tax increase—biggest tax increase we’ve had in the state of Illinois—not a dollar of it has gone to paying the bills."
"It’s gone for paying other things. It has not gone to pay the backlog of bills. So, I don’t know if it helps or hurts. It’s been a total neutral for us.”
Topinka has been trying to use her authority as comptroller to move some unpaid bills to the top of the pile, especially for non-profit agencies that contract with the state to provide services to people with disabilities. But she acknowledges that may pose problems for small business who are also waiting, often for months on end, to get the money they are owed from the state.