CHICAGO (CBS) — Despite raising the Illinois income tax 66 percent and implementing spending restraints, the state still has $4 billion in unpaid bills.
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said the state has 130,000 unpaid bills dating back to December, 2010–totaling just over $4 billion.
The sobering news comes one day after lawmakers passed a budget and ended its spring legislative session.
“Lawmakers finally dealt with reality and made real budget cuts, and that is encouraging. It is a good first step,” said Topinka, who took office in January. “But the fact is that even with the recent tax increase, we have more than $4 billion in bills to pay down, and that is going to take some time. Vendors should know that there will still be substantial delays, but the situation will slowly begin to improve if we hold the line on new spending.”
In January, lawmakers raised the personal income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent for four years – a 66 percent increase. The corporate tax rate rose to 9.5 percent.
Before the tax increases, the state was facing a whopping $15 billion budget deficit.