Feb 2, 2022 - Politics

Tax relief on docket for Illinois budget address

A photo of a man at a podium giving a speech.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivering his first budget address at the Illinois State Capitol in February 2019. Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/Pool/Getty Images

Governor J.B. Pritzker will deliver his annual budget address via livestream at noon, but not because of COVID-19 restrictions. This time, it's the weather.

  • The winter storm has canceled sessions in both chambers, leaving the governor to outline his budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year virtually.

Why it matters: Gov. Pritzker is up for re-election, so this year's annual address is higher stakes.

  • Though the speech is an opportunity for the governor to point out his accomplishments and set the agenda for his campaign, the actual budget will still need to be approved by the state legislature.

By the numbers: Nearly $1 billion in proposed tax relief is expected to be announced as part of the spending plan. That includes:

🏠 A $300 rebate for property taxes.

🥦 Suspending the 1% sales tax on food for a year.

⛽ Blocking an increase in the state gasoline tax.

Context: The governor will point to a stronger fiscal footing thanks to an influx of federal funding and better-than-projected state revenue from 2021.

  • Gov. Pritzker's office says these tax cuts are meant to combat inflation.
  • The lost tax revenue would come out of the state's general fund.

The other side: In a statement sent to Axios, Republican candidate Richard Irvin said the plan was filled with "election-year gimmicks" that "cover up his record out-of-control crime and higher taxes."

What's next: Look for the House and Senate to take up the proposed budget before the session ends in early April.


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