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by Maurice Scott Executive Vice President Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois

(Editors Note: The following are excerpts from the Newsletter of the Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois.)

On a per capita basis, State and local taxes in Illinois for fiscal year 1975 amounted to $755, an increase of $56 per person over the per capita figure of $699 for fiscal 1974. New York led the pack for fiscal 1975 with a per capita figure of $1,009, followed in order by: California $890, Alaska $880, Hawaii $866, Massachusetts $786, Nevada $771, Minnesota $768, Illinois $755, Maryland $740, and Wisconsin $737, rounding out the first 10 States. (Source: Cal-Tax News, August 1, 1976.)

For fiscal year 1976 (from July 1, 1975 to July 1, 1976), the State Income Tax was the leading revenue producer for Illinois' General Revenue Fund, producing $1.677 billion. This figure may be broken down as follows: Individual Income Tax collections, $1.326 billion; Corporate Income Tax collections, $342 million; and net change in "Cashier's Receipts," $9 million. ("Cashier's Receipts" is a category used by the State Department of Revenue that consists of both individual and corporate collections not immediately identifiable by type of collection.)

State Sales Taxes produced $1.666 billion in fiscal 1976 and stayed right on the heels of the Income Tax. Total Federal Revenue into the State's General Revenue Fund for the same period amounted to $1.058 billion, followed in order by receipts from the Public Utility Taxes, $274 million, and receipts from the State Cigarette Tax, $167 million. (Source: Monthly Fiscal Report, July 15, 1976, Office of State Comptroller George W. Lindberg.)

Senate Bill 1918, the bill that doubles the State Inheritance Tax exemption for spouses and children from $20,000 to $40,000 each, with a ceiling of $1,200 in tax relief for each, was signed into law by Governor Walker on August 20. For example, if a decedent leaves his $50,000 estate to his widow and son, their combined State Inheritance Tax would be zero under the new law, while existing law it would be $200. In another example released by the Governor, if a farmer dies and leaves $160,000 worth of farmland and homestead to be equally divided among his widow and 3 children, instead of having to pay $400 each in Inheritance Taxes under present law, the widow and children would have no tax liability under the new law, the relief under the new statute being $1,600.

It is estimated that the new law will cost the State around $5 million a year in tax income, but the loss will not be felt in fiscal 1977, because such tax relief is effective in cases of persons who die after January 1, 1977. It usually takes from 10 to 15 months after a person dies for the tax to be processed and paid.

Illinois Parks and Recreation 20 November/December, 1976

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