AG Questions Tax Hikes

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who could run for Illinois governor next year, is raising questions about Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed income tax increase to help fill an $11.5 billion budget hole.

Madigan says tough economic times makes it "very difficult" to up the tax burden on Illinois residents and says the state budget should be cut before the state considers an income tax increase.

"To put an increase tax burdon on people who are already needing to cut back on their family's budget is very difficult," Madigan said.

Quinn has proposed a 50 percent increase in the income tax rate to help cover the deficit that he says is too big to be erased through budget cuts.  Still, he said, it can be changed.

"I think our plan is a good plan.  We're willing to refine it.  It's a blueprint," he said.

Madigan's father is the powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and he has enormous sway over whether Quinn's proposed income tax increase goes anywhere.

Madigan and Quinn spoke to reporters after an unrelated Friday news conference, in which he described her as a "good friend" and a "hardworking voice for everday people."  In return, she described Quinn as the architect of "a new day here in Illinois" and praised his emphasis on "teamwork."

We'll see how those niceties hold up if they face each other in the race for the state's top executive.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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