Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute News

Gas tax hike may be around the corner for Gov.-elect JB Pritzker

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 13, 2018

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly gunning for a transportation bill that could come with an increase in the gas tax.

Illinois’ richest governor, meet the nation’s most powerful state lawmaker

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 12, 2018

Pritzker’s money could offer Madigan’s House members cover should they dare to go against the speaker.

How to make an extra $3 billion, the Illinois way

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Oct 30, 2018

AFSCME – the largest government worker union in the state – may pull off one of the most insulting waiting games in state history. The payoff? More than $3 billion, courtesy of Illinois taxpayers.

Six former library employees have taken home more than $1 million in pension benefits

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Oct 15, 2018

Large pension payouts in the face of flat incomes for taxpayers raise questions of fairness.

Is this the most toxic tax in Illinois politics?

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Sep 18, 2018

One wonders how many times an unpopular idea must be knocked down before it rises back from the dead. Especially when it means more money for the state. And especially in Illinois.

One of Illinois' top tax credit recipients to shutter 1,000-employee HQ

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Sep 12, 2018

Illinois issued more than $60 million in EDGE tax credits to Takeda Pharmaceuticals from 2003 to 2013, more than any other company received over that time.

Why your property tax bill is so high and how to fix it

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Aug 7, 2018

Less than 50 cents of every additional property tax dollar over the last 20 years went to pay for services that raise home values. Instead, the primary driver of the rise in property taxes was pension costs.

For Speaker Madigan, when do drips become a flood?

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jun 11, 2018

A few brave souls have come forward with their stories about the behavior under Madigan’s dome. But how many still feel powerless?

Lawmakers to homeowners: 'You'll get nothing and like it'

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | May 14, 2018

In a matter of hours, Illinoisans saw bipartisan opposition to property tax relief and bipartisan support for higher property taxes.

Madigan re-elected Chairman of Illinois Democratic Party

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Apr 24, 2018

The longtime House speaker is the only state legislative leader in the nation to also serve as a party chairman.

Collinsville, Granite City sales taxes would rival Chicago's under tax hike referendum

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Mar 12, 2018

Madison County voters have twice turned down a proposed sales-tax hike to fund school facilities projects, but the proposal will appear again on March primary ballots. If approved, shoppers in Collinsville and Granite City would see some of the highest sales tax rates in the country.

Hold on to your wallets, Springfield back in session for 2018

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 22, 2018

With statewide elections in November, the 2018 forecast calls for gridlock.

Like a good neighbor: Illinois sees record loss of people to neighboring states

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 5, 2018

Solving Illinois’ people problem requires addressing the high cost of government, which makes the state far less attractive for people looking to plant roots.

Census: Illinois loses title of 5th largest state to Pennsylvania

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 20, 2017

Census data released Dec. 20 show the Land of Lincoln is no longer the fifth-largest state in the U.S.

Government unions, your property tax bill and the power of giving

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 18, 2017

Balancing the scales at the bargaining table is an essential step in fixing the property tax problem.

It’s Illinois’ birthday! Hey, wait … come back

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 15, 2017

Illinois’ exodus of people and money is the state’s most pressing policy problem. Until lawmakers get serious about addressing its causes, there’s little reason to think the trend will change.

New IRS data: Illinois sees record loss of people, income to other states

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 4, 2017

The Land of Lincoln is experiencing heavy losses of people and income to other states, new IRS data reveal. Illinois lost more than 86,000 people and $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states from 2015-2016.

Illinoisans’ no good, very bad year

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 17, 2017

The biggest obstacle Illinoisans face in Springfield remains the same: an all-powerful House speaker, and members of both parties who are all too eager to kowtow.

In 'Spring(field) Vegas,' a toxic culture thrives in the dark

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 3, 2017

The culture of silence will end eventually. And when it does, it will be with a deafening roar.

Illinois lawmakers stampede for the exit

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Sep 28, 2017

The most likely driver is pretty obvious to most Illinoisans: the rage of constituents.

The Record Network