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02/05/2009

Broke as a Joke!

If you're expecting a refund from your 2008 Illinois income tax return you might want to pay very close attention to what's happening in Springfield these days. Illinois comptroller Dan Hynes reported this week that the state is facing a $9 billion dollar budget deficit and the worst financial crisis since statehood 191 years ago. As they used to say in my old neighborhood, Illinois is "broke as a joke". Unlike municipal and county governments, states are considered "sovreigns" and do not qualify for protection under federal bankruptcy laws. The only options for Springfield at this point are to cut services and/or raise taxes...OR...the state may "renounce" its debt. Renounce is a fancy way to say the state can simply tell its creditors that it doesn't have the money, it can't pay and there's nothing you can do about it. Vendors, contractors and other people who do business with the state have very obvious reasons to be worried. But those waiting on refunds of overpaid income taxes should also be concerned. In California, land of a $40 billlion budget deficit, taxpayers have already been told that refunds on their 2008 returns have been "delayed" indefinitely. Will the powers-that-be in Springfield use the same strategy to help them buy time in the Illinois financial crisis? To help make sure you get paid...pay some attention!

Comments

I do not have to pay any income tax on any wages in the State of Illinois! I now am retired. I consider Illinois one of the stingiest States of the 52. I cannot ever remember receiving a refund from the State in 45 years over $60... not ever. They do not want to offer rebates for Illinois renters. Indiana does this and at the end of the year $400 upwards is something to look forward to. They had better start "renouncing" because I think the taxpayers are fed up. They can't blame this one on Blagojevich. I imagine they spent a fortune with the impeachment hearings. Maybe the House and Senate should give up some of those nice paydays (the Treasurer too)and go on furloughs. I've got a better idea: they should telecommute! Technology will pull it together for 'em.

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