A new report says the Illinois state budget is not fiscally sustainable and the state won’t be able to keep taxes at current levels while continuing to provide current services and promised benefits.
The report by the State Budget Crisis Task Force, co-chaired by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker and former New York City transit chief Richard Ravitch, paints a grim picture of the state’s fiscal future.
- Illinois has the worst unfunded pension liability of any state, estimated at $85 billion, and has underfunded pension systems since the early 1980s.Within three years pension costs could eat up one-fourth of the state’s resources.
- Medicaid expenses have doubled in a decade, growing far more rapidly than tax revenue.
- Illilnois has been borrowing growing amounts to pay its bills and now has one of the highest levels of debt per capita of any state.
- Poor fiscal management and opaque budgeting have compounded the state’s financial challenges, perennially pushing its bills off to the future.
- Illinois tax revenues are not likely to grow enough to meet future needs.
You can read the full report here: