Illinois governor's budget would make tax hike permanent

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:35pm EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 26 (Reuters) - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Wednesday proposed making a temporary income tax rate hike permanent to keep the state budget afloat, while providing a property tax refund to homeowners.

"This comprehensive tax reform plan would maintain current income tax rates, allowing us to balance the budget, properly invest in education, and provide every Illinois homeowner with a guaranteed $500 property tax refund every year," the Democratic governor said in his budget address to the state legislature.

Quinn, who is facing a tough re-election campaign against wealthy Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, signed the 67 percent hike in the personal income tax rate into law in 2011. Under the law, the rate is scheduled to drop from 5 percent to 3.75 percent on Jan. 1, which is halfway through the state's upcoming fiscal year. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Springfield; Additional reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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