CHICAGO - Illinois' debt continues to be a growing burden to the state's taxpayers - and could be contributing to a growing drumbeat for the state's income tax rate to be raised again.
Mischa Fisher, the Policy Advisor for Economic Development to Governor Rauner, distributed a graphic to persons on his .gov email list Friday, showing Illinois' debt per capita to be less than New Jersey and Connecticut, but much more than 40 other states in the union.
That means that every person in Illinois that makes an average income has unseen debt imposed by the state government on him or her that is nevertheless real. That amount is approximately $15,000.
Illinois' unpaid bills amount (shown in red) is unique to Illinois. The pension debt (in purple) is one of the nation's highest. Green shows the net tax-supported debt for the states and aqua the OPEB, or "other post employment benefits."
Net tax-supported debt is defined by Moody's as "debt secured by state taxes or other operating resources which could otherwise be used for state operations, net of obligations that are self-supporting from pledged sources other than state taxes or operating resources."
Alaska and Hawaii, which work with different systems, are not fairly comparable to the other 48 states, Fischer explained to his readers. While he included those states in Friday's graphic, and because their funding system is different, the figures show exorbitantly higher debt rates.