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Ill. budget woes mean long waits for tax refunds

(via Flickr/jglazer75)
The Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.

Illinois businesses waiting for long-overdue tax refunds aren't getting any good news from the state capitol.

Illinois owes about $850 million to roughly 36,000 businesses that overpaid their income taxes. Some have been waiting since 2008 to get their money.

Gov. Pat Quinn proposed borrowing money to pay the refunds, but legislators have shown little interest in that idea.

Budget proposals being considered by Democratic lawmakers would do little to chip away at the backlog.

Some companies are waiting not only for refunds but for payment on work they did for the state. The backlog to vendors and social service providers stands at about $4.5 billion.

In related news, the Associated Press reports that Illinois' comptroller, Juday Baar Topinka, says Illinois is heading for an $8 billion budget shortfall.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the deficit won't be reduced unless the governor and lawmakers take steps to cut spending before the fiscal year ends on June 30.

Most of that deficit comes from overdue bills. Topinka said Wednesday that Illinois owes $4.5 billion to businesses and community organizations that have done work for the state.

It also owes $1.2 billion to employee health insurance, $850 million for overdue tax refunds and about $1 billion in bills that will arrive after the end of the budget year.

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