State May Pocket Tax Distributions

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Decatur - The State of Illinois since July has held onto $148 million in tax revenues from gasoline sales, casino gambling and video gaming that normally go to local government, according to the Illinois Municipal League. The money is tied up in the state budget crisis.

But local officials have questioned whether the state plans to keep the money to pay its own bills.

"That's what we're telling them we think is going to happen," said Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League. "We think that's a likely maneuver that the state will take."

Cole said he suspects that state officials see money that now goes to municipalities as a partial solution to its budget problems.

"They have a hole to fill. It's easy to fill with someone else's money," he said.

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