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Gov. Quinn says he's open to property tax break
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/10/2009 1:43 PM | Updated: 4/10/2009 1:46 PM

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Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday he was open to proposals for property tax relief to take the sting out of his plan for an income tax hike.

Quinn said on WBBM-AM 780's At Issue radio program, which airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., that he would consider forcing school districts that receive more state funding to in turn provide a break on local property taxes.

"I think there is a lot of opportunity to put refinements on our plan," Quinn said about his landmark budget proposal that has been met with resistance from lawmakers.

In order to cover an $11 billion-plus budget shortfall, Quinn is calling for a 50 percent increase in the state's income tax rate, from 3 percent to 4.5 percent. His plan would also add exemptions to lessen the tax burden for a family of four making about $60,000 or less.

Local school districts, which usually make up the lion's share of property tax bills, also receive considerable funding from the state. Quinn's tax hike would allow for a $200 million increase in education funding next year and his budget calls for shifting millions of dollars around in the system.

Quinn was vague about the details of any property tax relief, instead saying that could be worked out with legislative leaders.

"I think we can work together ... to have a very good final plan," he said. "It is important to have property tax relief, I'm open to that."

The move comes after Chicago Mayor Richard Daley criticized Quinn's plan for lacking property tax relief.