1% Cut in Illinois Spending Equals 6,230 Jobs Lost
State budget cuts are costing both private and public jobs, according to a new report released today by Make Wall Street Pay Illinois and authored by the Alliance for a Just Society. The report, The Cost of Cuts in Illinois: Budget Cuts Hurt Families, Communities, and the Economy, finds that in Illinois, a 1 percent cut in general fund spending is associated with the loss of 6,230 jobs. The report finds evidence that budget cuts are causing overall job loss.
Although the Illinois General Assembly did raise corporate taxes in early 2011, they turned around and cut taxes on the CME Group and Sears before the year was out. Illinois is still facing a major shortfall in revenue – a fact which many Illinois elected officials site when calling for budget cuts instead of addressing the state’s revenue crisis. All indications are that there is a greater interest in Springfield in furthering corporate tax rollbacks rather than creating new revenue sources.
“Governor Pat Quinn emphasized the need to create jobs in the State of the State address, but if he and the legislature agree to budget cuts, it will undermine any effort to create jobs,” said Rev. Marilyn Pagan-Banks, of Northside P.O.W.E.R., a member organization of Make Wall Street Pay Illinois.
According to The Cost of Cuts, each year since the recession hit, Illinois has cut per capita general fund spending, despite increased need for public services. Across Illinois, these cuts have resulted in the loss of mental health services, homelessness prevention programs, and programs assisting youth who are homeless, to name a few impacts. This reduction in spending has caused a ripple effect throughout the economy. The report further finds that people of color have been hardest hit by job loss, as seen in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2010 unemployment figures. At 17.8 and 12.7, respectively, African Americans and Latinos in Illinois have significantly higher unemployment rates than whites, at 9.1, and the state average, at 10.2.
Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is urging state lawmakers to reject all proposals to roll back corporate taxes, and in fact pass a comprehensive revenue package that closes loopholes, stops double dipping and raises revenue. Lawmakers must pass legislation calling for simple and accessible disclosure of state taxes actually paid by corporations in Illinois.
“Like with the tax giveaways to Sears and CME, we keep hurting both our tax base and our jobs base in Illinois. Once and for all we must rid ourselves of this myth that tax breaks for the rich and big corporations create jobs,” said David Hatch, Executive Director of IIRON , a member of Make Wall Street Pay Illinois.