July 5 Illinois' general fund revenue grew by
6.7 percent in fiscal 2013 over fiscal 2012, slightly better
than expected, mainly propelled by stronger income tax receipts,
a state legislative commission reported on Friday.
The state collected $36 billion in revenue from taxes,
federal funding and other sources in the fiscal year that ended
June 30, marking a $2.26 billion increase from the previous
fiscal year, according to the Commission on Government
Forecasting and Accountability. Illinois' collections exceeded
commission estimates by $348 million or slightly less than 1
Income tax collections accounted for $1.74 billion of the
increase, with the state getting a one-time revenue surge in
April from taxpayers who accelerated their income and capital
gains at the end of 2012 to avoid expected federal income tax
increases in 2013.
Illinois used money from this so-called April surprise to
pay down its huge backlog of overdue bills. State Comptroller
Judy Baar Topinka reported last week that Illinois ended fiscal
2013 with an estimated $6.1 billion in unpaid bills, down from
$7.5 billion at the end of fiscal 2012. But she warned that the
bill pile could balloon to nearly $9 billion by December.
A structural budget imbalance and a nearly $100 billion
unfunded public pension liability have shoved Illinois' bond
ratings down the credit scale to the lowest levels among states.
A legislative conference committee has been meeting to come up
with a fix for pensions, which are squeezing out funding for
core state services. However, the head of the 10-member
committee said Wednesday it will not meet a July 9 deadline set
by Governor Pat Quinn.
Sales taxes were up a tepid 1.8 percent, or $129 million, in
fiscal 2013, while federal funding, including Medicaid
reimbursements, jumped by $472 million, according to the