As Illinois lawmakers grapple with a budget shortfall, a measure to impose a tax on millionaires' income came up short.

Adding a surcharge to income over a million dollars to raise more money for Illinois schools was a concept Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan introduced last year, but there wasn't enough support.

Now, as Illinois faces a $6 billion budget gap, he's brought it back.

"We're simply asking those that have done well in life to help our educational system," Madigan said.

But his effort came up short, by three votes.

City of Hamilton

A non-binding referendum on the April ballot will ask voters whether to increase the city’s utility tax. The extra revenue would go toward road repairs and help replace diminishing state funding.

Illinois taxpayers are waiting longer than usual for their state income tax refunds. 

Terry Horstman of the Illinois revenue department says the agency is working to fix the problem.

Bruce Rauner -- the Republican nominee for Illinois governor -- says he followed the letter of the law when filing his taxes.  But he won't say whether it was fair.

Rauner, a businessman, has said his wealth puts him in the top .01%.

Even so, a Chicago Tribune analysis showed that in several recent years, he paid no Social Security or Medicare taxes.

Rauner has released limited parts of his tax returns.

It's believed he took advantage of I-R-S rules to legally cut his tax burden.

Rauner defended that ...

Illinois Ends Fiscal Year In The Black...Temporarily

Jul 10, 2014

The state took in over a billion dollars more in taxes than the prior year, thanks to an uptick in sales tax money.  Personal income tax revenue also rose , but the amount coming from corporate income taxes dropped. It's something Jim Muschinske, a budget forecaster for the state, said was predicted.

"That was not unexpected. In fact, we actually did better this fiscal year than what was initially assumed back when the budget was passed," Muschinske said.

911 call centers are struggling to maintain services as more people ditch their landline phones for cell phones. That’s because wireless phone lines in Illinois are often taxed at a lower rate than landlines. 

If you look at your cell phone bill, you’ll see that every line is charged $0.73 to support 911 emergency services. Ralph Caldwell, who’s the director of Champaign County’s call center, says the chunk of that tax the center receives isn’t high enough.

Dissatisfaction in the area with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues as the income-tax deadline approaches.

Occupy Peoria protestors were starting to assemble on Main Street one Saturday in October, when I was reading a magazine, eating an omelet and drinking coffee at a nearby café. A dad at an adjacent table looked out the window at the dozens of demonstrators, turned to his daughter, and said, “What are they complaining about? Half of the country pays no taxes at all!”