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The Latest: Rauner will ‘step-down’ tax hike to close gap

January 22, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on Illinois’ monthly fiscal report (all times local):

5 p.m.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will propose reversing last year’s income tax increase in a “step-down” process that will cover several years.

Rauner pledged the rollback Monday when asked about how he would pay for more than $2 billion in state spending that never received appropriation authority from the General Assembly.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s first monthly report on the state’s pile of overdue bills revealed that the state will spend $2.3 billion in the fiscal year that ends June 30 that was never appropriated in law.

The Republican governor gives a budget address next month. He says Democrats in the Legislature who increased income taxes from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent last summer over his veto also approved a budget with too much spending.

Rauner says he will back that tax hike down over “a few years” and cut “wasteful spending in government” to close the gap.

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3 p.m.

Failure to pay debts on time has cost Illinois $1 billion in late-payment penalties.

The debt-transparency report Monday also shows that in addition to the backlog, there’s roughly $2.3 billion the General Assembly never approved spending.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza reported the state had $9 billion in overdue bills on Dec. 31 with almost $2.5 billion still at individual state agencies. It was $8.8 billion Monday .

It was the first monthly report by state agencies since November when lawmakers voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Mendoza-supported measure .

Some of the overdue bills carry late-payment charges of up to 12 percent annually. The total topped $1 billion from mid-2015 through 2017.

Democrat Mendoza said Republican Rauner should say how he’ll pay the $2.3 billion that never got lawmakers’ OK.

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