Ill. gov. announces tax increase to bail out state budget

IL Gov. Pat Quinn
IL Gov. Pat Quinn
By Carly O'Keefe
MARION, IL (KFVS) - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced the details of his highly anticipated plan to get Illinois out of the red Wednesday.
To help cover the state's estimated $11.5 billion budget deficit, the governor proposed a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase, a variety of cuts within government, raising the costs to get a driver's or vehicle license, and increasing the state's income tax rate from 3 percent to 4.5 percent.
Parts of the proposal do not sit well with some southern Illinoisans.
"I'm single, widowed, and every penny I work for counts to me, and then they want to turn around and take it for income taxes, property taxes, it makes it that much harder," said Bea Reed of West Frankfort.
The governor says the income tax hike won't hit Illinois pocketbooks as hard as it may seem. Quinn also plans to triple the state's tax exemption from $2000 to $6000.  According to the governor, once the tax refunds are totaled more than 5 million Illinoisans will have paid the same or less in taxes than they do currently.  Still, some southern Illinoisans don't like the idea of taking home even less in their paychecks during already tough times.  
"I don't mind paying my fair share, but at the same time you wonder how much the average person can bear," said Don Eldridge of Marion.
According to the proposal, single residents making more than $30,000 a year, married couples and single residents with one child earning more than $45,000 a year and families of four making more than $60,000 a year will see their annual income taxes increase even with adjusted tax exemptions.