Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford (pictured) has some harsh words regarding to the state’s lack of a plan when the temporary income tax increase expires in two years. Asked at an Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee hearing if the state had a plan to offset revenues lost when the temporary income tax increase ends, the governor’s budget director didn’t have a direct answer.
Rutherford says that’s the wrong way to go about managing the state’s fiscal ship. “There should have been a plan put into place in January 2011,” Rutherford said. He says he has negotiated contracts around the world in the private sector while state leaders negotiated a disaster. “They negotiated a disastrous contract. They raised money and didn’t fix the problem,” Rutherford said. Rutherford says there should have been more facets to fixing the state’s budget problems other than an income tax increase.
“My contention is they should’ve kept the foot on the throat and not brought any more money into this treasury without a complete package of fixing the state pension system. Look at where we are in our outstanding bills, where we are in our outstanding obligations, they just brought in money,” Rutherford said. “Now we’re two years further down the road, we are no better off because of it.” Rutherford says where it hits home for “real people” is that the tax money coming in is going to pension costs rather than services for the people.