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Illinois Senate approves 32 percent income tax hike in party-line vote

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Senate Democrats decided to go it alone in the budget battle Monday, approving a spending plan that would raise the income tax rate in the state by 32 percent in a party-line vote.

The measure passed 32 to 26 would increase the tax rate to nearly five percent. The Illinois House will consider the measure next, but if it passes in its current form it would likely be vetoed by Gov. Rauner. Rauner said previously he won’t approve any increase unless a property tax freeze is also included. The governor and the GOP want a freeze of at least four years, but Senate Democrats have proposed a two-year freeze.

There was a lot of contentious partisan debate on the plan to add $5.4 billion dollars to state government. The bill also raises the corporate tax rate to 7 percent, and adds service taxes for things like dry cleaning and tattoos.

There are only eight days before this legislative session ends, and during that time both chambers will need a supermajority to approve a budget. Which means if the total budget passes the Senate, it’ll also have to get through the House, where tensions boiled over Monday.

Democrats delivered a letter to the governor claiming they wanted to work in “good faith” on reaching a budget. But Republican leader Jim Durkin says the plea was disingenuous.

House speaker Mike Madigan says his own negotiators will consider the Senate bills, but he indicated they’re working on their own plan.