CHICAGO Jan 8 Illinois' general fund revenue
rose $815 million or 5.2 percent in the first half of fiscal
2014 compared to the same period in fiscal 2013 after a strong
December, a state legislative agency reported on Wednesday.
Revenue from personal income taxes jumped 15 percent in
December for a total 4.6 percent hike in the first six months of
the fiscal year, while corporate income tax receipts, which rose
11.2 percent last month, were 9.3 percent higher than in the
first half of fiscal 2013, according to the Commission on
Government Forecasting and Accountability.
"Both personal and corporate income tax have performed at
levels that, barring a near-term turn around, should result in
an upward revision to the estimates scheduled to occur in late
February," the report said.
Revenue from sales taxes climbed 5.4 percent so far in the
fiscal year, which ends June 30.
The $815 million in overall revenue growth came as relief to
a state with $5.16 billion in unpaid bills, but the commission
cautioned that nearly half of it was due to a $397 million
income tax refund fund transfer to the general fund and that
federal money continues to fall below projections.
In its next budget, Illinois faces a partial expiration of
an income tax rate hike enacted in 2011, though the tax hike
could be extended by the state legislature. On Jan. 1, 2015 the
personal income tax rate is slated to drop to 3.75 percent from
5 percent, while the 7 percent corporate tax will fall to 5.25
percent, according to the state revenue department.
The state continues to struggle with a structural budget
deficit as well as the backlog of unpaid bills, according to the
Illinois Comptroller's website. Long-awaited reforms to reduce
Illinois' nearly $100 billion unfunded public pension liability
were enacted last month but are being challenged in court and
are not set to take effect until June.
Public school teachers and administrators and an association
for retired state workers have filed lawsuits aimed at voiding
the pension law on state constitutional grounds.
The lack of a pension fix led credit rating agencies to
pound Illinois' bond ratings to the lowest levels among states.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last month revised the
outlook on Illinois' A-minus rating to developing from negative,
indicating the rating could be raised or lowered over the next
two years depending on what happens with pension reform and the