Democratic lawmakers in Springfield have announced an agreement on a new budget, with more than $1.8 billion in tax relief coming for Illinois taxpayers, including direct checks, a suspension of grocery taxes and a freeze on the state’s fuel tax.
According to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Democratic leadership in the Illinois Legislature, the new budget will once again be balanced, with $1 billion being earmarked for the state’s rainy day fund and $1.8 billion in tax relief earmarked for taxpayers.
“I want to thank Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Chris Welch for being true partners in hammering out a responsible, compassionate budget,” Pritzker said. “Over the last few weeks, and especially over the last 48 hours, we’ve engaged in a true give and take, which led to genuine compromise, and it honestly helped that we all came into this process committed to a fiscally-responsible spending plan that improved our state’s finances and helped our people in an hour of genuine need.”
According to lawmakers, the state’s 1% sales tax on groceries will be suspended for the entirety of the new fiscal year, which officials say will save taxpayers up to $400 million through July 1, 2023.
The state’s fuel tax, which was slated to increase in July due to inflation, will instead be frozen at $.39 a gallon through Jan. 1, 2023, with a taxpayer savings of $70 million.
Property tax rebates of up to $300 per household will also be included in the budget, along with an expansion of the earned income tax credit in the state, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Finally, families will receive direct checks from the state pending approval of the budget. Each individual will be eligible for a check of up to $50, with households also receiving $100 per child.
Income limits of $200,000 per individual taxpayer, or $400,000 for joint followers, will be attached to the checks, according to officials.
Illinois Democrats praised the new budget for its impacts on taxpayers and its commitment to remaining balanced, something the state has wrestled with for decades.
“We’ve paid our bills, saw our credit rating improve, invested in our priorities and had the ability to send money back to taxpayers,” Illinois Senate President Don Harmon said. “As the governor said, a responsible, balanced budget was vital. We’ve got that.”