CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn’s offer to give cities a bigger cut of income tax revenues to help with pension debts without raising property taxes met with a lukewarm reception from the Emanuel administration.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the governor clearly hoped a greater share of income tax revenue for local governments – if lawmakers also extend the 2011 income tax hike – would stop cities like Chicago from leaning on property taxes to pay down pension debts.
“I am very open to discussing with our local units of government a way to share some of the income tax revenue, beyond what we are today, in order to help them with their challenges,” Quinn said Monday.
Kelley Quinn, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget office, said he still wants the governor to immediately sign pension reform legislation that would open the door for the city to raise property taxes by $50 million a year for five years starting in 2016, to prop up pension funds for city laborers and municipal workers.
Nevertheless, she said the mayor would welcome a greater level of income tax revenue for the cities.
The governor said he’d rather see income tax revenue used to fund pensions and schools, rather than property taxes, but he wouldn’t say if he’d veto legislation that would overhaul two city pension funds and allow the city to raise property taxes to pay for it.
“That’s under review right now. We’ll be looking at that bill for some time. I’ve got to also work on our state budget. That’s first and foremost,” he said. “I think as we work on our state budget, there are opportunities for our municipalities to come to Springfield and work with us.”
There were signs some at City Hall worried lawmakers would not approve a greater share of income tax revenue for local governments, because that would mean less money for the state to address its own budget problems.