Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tax hike won't be immediate windfall, state's creditors say

Social service agencies, landlords and schools and colleges have been waiting for the state of Illinois to catch up on its financial obligations to them during the drawn-out financial crisis.

But even with the hefty income tax increase signed into law this week by Gov. Pat Quinn, they might have to wait some more.

The University of Illinois system began seeing slow payments from the state in fiscal 2009, and when the year ended on June 30, 2009, the U of I was owed $126 million, said university spokesman Tom Hardy. It got that money in mid-September of ’09.

This year, the university has billed $477 million against its $697 million appropriation and is still owed $413 million

“We’re in just slightly better shape than we were a year ago,” Hardy said.

The state paid off all it owed to the university system in fiscal 2010 only last month, about halfway through the next fiscal year.

In July, the state owed the U of I about $279 million, $9 million of which was due to the University of Illinois Springfield, said UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp.

“It’s too early to know the impact of the recent action in Springfield,” Hardy said. “I think it will start to come into focus within the next month when the budget is presented.

“I hope public higher education is restored to a priority befitting its vital importance to the state.”

The tax increase was featured in a January 15, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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