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Budget Watchdog Has Plan To Fix State Finances

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Illinois State Capitol

Illinois State Capitol buillding in Springfield (AP Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – More than three weeks ahead of the governor’s budget address, a government watchdog group has issued its own plan for bringing state finances back to good health.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports the Civic Federation has unveiled a plan that would allow the 2011 income tax hike to stay in place an extra year.

The Civic Federation said the plan would eliminate a backlog of more than $5.4 billion in unpaid state bills over the next five years.

Its plan would allow a temporary income tax hike approved in 2011 to remain in effect for an extra year – until Jan. 1, 2016 – followed by a gradual reduction over three years.

The Civic Federation also said it wants to tax pension and Social Security income. Of the 41 states with an income tax, Illinois is one of only three that don’t tax pensions, and one of 27 that don’t tax Social Security benefits.

The group said its plan would get Illinois out of its perpetual fiscal crisis.

To review the Civic Federation’s “Illinois Budget Roadmap,” click here.

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