ILLINOIS IS ONE OF FEW STATES WITH ‘DEATH TAX.’ BILL WOULD DOUBLE IT.

Link: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-is-one-of-few-states-with-death-tax-bill-would-double-it/

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Many states have moved away from taxing assets after people die because of the harm to family businesses and farms, but a new proposal before state lawmakers would double Illinois’ estate tax.

House Bill 3920 would hike the existing state tax on estates of over $4 million to 9.95% from 4.95%. Unlike neighboring Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri, Illinois is one of just a dozen states that still have an estate or inheritance tax. Tax Foundation analyst Katherine Loughead noted, “The top marginal estate tax rate under this proposal would become the highest in the country at 21%.”

While the bill’s sponsors intend the extra revenues to be used to support Illinoisans with disabilities, hiking the estate tax would squeeze family farmers, reduce the accumulation of productive assets, encourage spendthrift behavior, fuel tax avoidance and evasion, and drive wealth to other states.

Author(s): Justin Carlson

Publication Date: 16 March 2021

Publication Site: Illinois Policy Institute

WEAK ACCOUNTING STANDARDS ENABLE ILLINOIS BUDGET DEFICITS

Link: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/weak-accounting-standards-enable-illinois-budget-deficits/

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Bad accounting has helped Illinois politicians avoid balancing the budget for 20 years, despite a constitutional requirement to pass a balanced budget each year. Government accounting standards that fail to offer transparency and accuracy in financial reporting have also contributed to the state’s $260 billion pension crisis, the primary reason Illinois has the lowest credit rating any state has ever received.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has proposed changes it calls “improvements” to the accounting standards for governments. However, watchdog groups such as Truth in Accounting have criticized the proposed changes and urged the adoption of more stringent standards that would require governments to balance their budgets the way most businesses are required to do. Illinois has grown accustomed to using lax accounting methods to hide its budget deficits, racking up debt year after year. The state’s taxpayers would benefit from tougher standards that impose fiscal discipline.

Author(s): Justin Carlson

Publication Date: 19 February 2021

Publication Site: Illinois Policy Institute

WEAK ACCOUNTING STANDARDS ENABLE ILLINOIS BUDGET DEFICITS

Link: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/weak-accounting-standards-enable-illinois-budget-deficits/

Excerpt:

Bad accounting has helped Illinois politicians avoid balancing the budget for 20 years, despite a constitutional requirement to pass a balanced budget each year. Government accounting standards that fail to offer transparency and accuracy in financial reporting have also contributed to the state’s $260 billion pension crisis, the primary reason Illinois has the lowest credit rating any state has ever received.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has proposed changes it calls “improvements” to the accounting standards for governments. However, watchdog groups such as Truth in Accounting have criticized the proposed changes and urged the adoption of more stringent standards that would require governments to balance their budgets the way most businesses are required to do. Illinois has grown accustomed to using lax accounting methods to hide its budget deficits, racking up debt year after year. The state’s taxpayers would benefit from tougher standards that impose fiscal discipline.

Author(s): Justin Carlson

Publication Date: 19 February 2021

Publication Site: Illinois Policy Institute

CHICAGO HAD $41,100 IN DEBT PER TAXPAYER BEFORE COVID-19, SECOND TO NEW YORK

Link: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/chicago-had-41100-in-debt-per-taxpayer-before-covid-19-second-to-new-york/

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A new report from government finance watchdog Truth in Accounting gave the Windy City an “F” for financial health. Chicago’s massive $36 billion net debt stems primarily from pensions.

Chicago city taxpayers were just hit with $94 million in property tax increases and $38 million in higher fines and fees, including a policy for speed cameras to ticket drivers for going just 6 mph over the speed limit, to help close the city’s budget deficit. City leaders placed much of the blame on COVID-19’s impact on government revenues, but a recent report from fiscal watchdog Truth in Accounting shows Chicago’s problems existed long before the pandemic.

Author(s): Justin Carlson

Publication Date: 11 February 2021

Publication Site: Illinois Policy Institute