© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Income Taxes To Cover Millions In Interest For Unpaid Bills In Illinois

State comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, shown in this state photo, died December 10, 2014 from complications of a stroke at the age of 70.
via Illinois Comptroller website

Illinois Comptroller Judy BaarTopinka says the ever-long list of vendors waiting on payments from the state means taxpayers have to pay interest and their money is being "flushed away."

That's according to a story posted online Sunday in the Rockford Register Star. The story is part of GateHouse newspapers' series on Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills.

The newspaper reports the total for outstanding bills was roughly $6 billion last week but tens of millions collected in income taxes will be diverted to cover interest owed on late payments. If the state doesn't pay its bills on time - after 90 days - private vendors become eligible for interest, which accrues monthly until bills are paid.

Topinka says it's another way that taxpayers are paying for years of financial mismanagement.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.