Fiscal cliff, a big burden on Illinois tax payers

By Beau Ebenezer

December 28, 2012 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM CDT

WASHINGTON D.C. -- President Obama and lawmakers met Friday for another round of last minute negotiations in the battle to avoid the tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

State of Illinois officials are warning the public of the economic impact that the cuts could have not only on the country, on the state level as well.

"I think the public hasn't zeroed in yet on what this is going to mean to them. But wait until they get their first pay checks and go into cardiac arrest when they realize all of this money is being taken out of their pay checks. And it is also being taken out of the state's paychecks," said State of Illinois Comptroller, Judy Topinka.

If no agreement is made in Washington by the new year, The State of Illinois could see more than $1 billion in cuts added to it's already $7.4 billion in unpaid bills.

State Senator Dave Koehler says he does not expect anything to get done in Washington until new congress members are sworn in on January 9th.

"We want some action out of the congress. This has just been an awfully do nothing Congress in the past two years. So hopefully in the next two years it will be nice to see that they can work together and get something done," said Koehler

Republican Congressman Aaron Schock says the House has passed alternatives to the automatic taxes and spending cuts, but the U.S. Senate has not acted.

"We're in this deficit and we're having this problem because we have exploded government spending and that's why so many of us in the house are adamant that if taxes are going to go up, that we not just raise taxes but we make cuts," said Schock.

Illinois is looking at a scheduled 2% increase on Social Security tax rates for the new year that could cost residents up to $6 billion.

Along with that, the fiscal crisis could even mean higher prices at the grocery store.

With members of Congress expressing their doubts on getting a deal before the January 1st deadline, Illinois residents may need to prepare to see a substantial drop when picking up their first pay-check of the new year.

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