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Illinois Senate Democrats say tax hikes still needed for budget

Two Democratic state senators Thursday pushed back at the notion the state can forgo revenue increases because tax collections are higher than expected.
Sens. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields and Don Harmon of Oak Park said the state still needs additional revenue from things like a tobacco tax increase and a new tax on plastic bags to finally eliminate the state's budget deficit.
Harmon called it a "wonderful" development that the state pulled in $1.5 billion more in income tax revenue in April than was anticipated, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration announced this week. On Wednesday, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs and other House Republicans said the additional money -- and the fact the state is expected to continue collecting more tax receipts than anticipated next year -- shows the state doesn't need to raise taxes or impose a graduated state income tax.
"The truth is that manna from heaven may get us out of the desert, but it will not feed us for years to come," Harmon said. "This really emphasizes the need to pass the fair tax so that we can reform our antiquated income tax structure and pay for the government people from the state."
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