This is Paper #53 in The Simon Review series.


This paper is about taxing, revenue and public budgeting in Illinois. The concept of public budgeting includes both the revenues raised by government and the ways in which those revenues are spent on the functions and programs sponsored by governments. This paper focuses especially on spending, that is on how and where revenue is distributed in the state in the form of public services and programs. It provides relevant data on the statewide distribution patterns and especially the question of whether those expenditures of the taxpayers’ money disproportionately benefit one region over the other. This question has provoked a long running debate in Illinois and it is one of the key questions influencing budgeting and most notably the raising of revenue in the state. The backdrop for this analysis is the stalemate over the state’s budget that went on for more than two years in 2015-2017 and that did lasting damage to the state and the continuing questions over what Illinois should do next regarding taxes and spending which will be crucial issues in the 2018 elections.