Illinois Budget: What the State's New Spending Plan Means For You

The gas tax will be frozen through the start of 2023 under the agreement

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Illinois' newly approved $46.5 billion budget is set to temporarily bring financial relief to residents through direct checks, a suspension of grocery taxes and a freeze on the state’s fuel tax.

The House voted to approve the budget just before 6 a.m. Saturday, less than two days after Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other leaders of the Illinois House and Senate announced an agreement on the state spending plan that aims to fight nagging, near-record inflation by giving $1.8 billion back to taxpayers.

"We end this legislative session with enormous and historic victories for the people of Illinois: Gas, grocery, and property tax relief, more support for local government than ever before, a massive improvement in staffing for our nursing home residents, short and long term debt reduction, and a balanced budget for the fourth year in a row," Pritzker said Saturday.

According to lawmakers, the state’s 1% sales tax on groceries will be suspended for the entirety of the new fiscal year, which officials say will save taxpayers up to $400 million through July 1, 2023.

The state’s fuel tax, which was slated to increase in July due to inflation, will instead be frozen at $.39 a gallon through Jan. 1, 2023, with a taxpayer savings of $70 million.

Property tax rebates of up to $300 per household will also be included in the budget, along with an expansion of the earned income tax credit in the state, according to Pritzker.

Finally, families will receive direct checks from the state pending approval of the budget. Each individual will be eligible for a check of up to $50, with households also receiving $100 per child.

Income limits of $200,000 per individual taxpayer, or $400,000 for joint followers, will be attached to the checks, according to officials.

Illinois Democrats praised the new budget for its impacts on taxpayers and its commitment to remaining balanced, something the state has wrestled with for decades.

“We’ve paid our bills, saw our credit rating improve, invested in our priorities and had the ability to send money back to taxpayers,” Illinois Senate President Don Harmon said. “As the governor said, a responsible, balanced budget was vital. We’ve got that.”

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