SPRINGFIELD, IL (KTVI) – Mayors from across Illinois filled the State Capitol Wednesday, to express their concerns over proposed budget cuts.
Right now, 8 percent of Illinois state income tax money goes back to municipal governments. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to cut that in half, to help the state balance its budget. This would translate into multi-million dollar losses for some Illinois cities.
If these cuts are approved by the state legislature, Belleville stands to lose $2.2 million to its general fund. Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert says this could mean cutting police department and public works jobs, or eliminating a fire station. He adds, “We recognize the state has tremendous problems. We live here, it’s our state. But we also know that it cannot be balanced on the backs of cities.”
Columbia could lose nearly $500,000. Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson warns, “If they do make the cuts, we are going to have to make cuts in police, in parks, in public works, which means we won’t be able to repair roads, we won’t be able to maintain roads.”
Rauner announced these cuts in February. His office says, “The reduction to local governments proposed in the budget puts Illinois in line with neighboring states.” Speaking to the state’s $6 billion budget hole, Rauner adds, “The status quo is broken and unsustainable.”
These cuts could come as soon as July 1st, when the new fiscal year begins.