On March 10, 2010, in his State Budget Address, Gov. Quinn made some alarming comments concerning income tax revenue shared by municipal, county and state governments. The governor’s budget proposal includes a $300 million cut to monies guaranteed to municipal governments under the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). The proposal will cut the amount of income tax that goes to local governments from 10 percent to 7 percent. This 30 percent slash in local tax revenue will undoubtedly increase the burden that municipalities are already feeling during this recession.
This cut comes at a time when local governments are trying to balance their budgets for the next fiscal year. Our fiscal year begins on May 1, and we are well into our annual budgeting process. Due to the economic situation, the Village has made reductions over the past two years—including outsourcing traditional full-time positions, reducing staff, and deferring major capital projects and asset replacements. The governor’s proposal would force us to re-evaluate an already dire budget situation without sufficient time to fill the gaps created by this cut.
The $300 million that would be cut from local governments will not do much to help solve our state’s nearly $13 billion deficit. However, $300 million pulled away from local governments will be felt on Main Street. The re-allocation of these funds will impact personnel and services in localities all over the state. Local governments are at the core of the struggle during this recession and they are feeling the pain more than the governor acknowledges. Gov. Quinn's proposal takes much-needed money from local governments and lets the state use it for its expenses.
The governor’s remarks Wednesday came after he made a pledge at the Illinois Municipal League’s Annual Conference in September guaranteeing municipalities 10 percent of current tax revenue and 10 percent of any additional tax revenue created from a tax increase. Pending a tax increase, this would have resulted in a growth of the funds distributed to municipal governments under LGDF. Gov. Quinn has now backtracked on his promise and wants to strip local governments of these funds. The governor’s budget proposal must be approved by both the House and Senate in the Illinois General Assembly before becoming law.
For the Village of Willowbrook, a $23.10 per capita reduction translates into a loss of over $200,000 for our community. This may represent serious cuts in services to our citizens who, quite frankly, see more of a return to themselves on the 10 percent than they do in the state’s 90 percent of income tax they spend. Additionally, the state is three months behind in the Income Tax Payments. Our community is currently due $173,100 dollars.