Batinick opposes state loans for Chicago's operating expenses
As pressure mounts on the City of Chicago to address its debt crisis, some have suggested the state should help the city cover its expenses.
“Chicago has spent at least two decades digging itself into a massive financial hole,” writes Nicole Gelinas in The City Journal. She goes on to state that since 2000, the overall debt has climbed from $12.3 billion to $20.2 billion, calculating out to $7,500 per person.
The deepening crisis comes during the same year the state legislature approved a massive 32 percent personal income tax hike, as reported back in May by WGN. The tax increase would also affect Chicagoans, already facing as Illinois residents the nation’s No. 1 state debt burden, according to IllinoisPolicy.org.
As The City Journal notes, the state is helping Chicago refinance its debt through a bond issue, but the move is seen as a delay tactic rather than true spending reform.
So should the state do more to help its beleaguered largest city? And just how would it be able to do so, given its own debt issues?
“Being a suburban state legislator, I am not an expert on Chicago’s debt situation,” Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) told the Will County Gazette. “But I do know that the state is in no position to bail out Chicago.”
According to a report from the Pew Charitable Trust, Illinois ranks near the bottom in debt-to-income ratio as tracked between 2002 and 2016.
“Illinois revenue was 94.2 percent of expenses over that time period, according to the study,” wrote IllinoisPolicy.org.
Batinick stands in the camp of many who believe the government must either shrink, raise taxes or do both.
“With exception of very rare circumstances, borrowing for operations is never recommended,” Batinick said.