Inequality is a hot topic these days. Everyone seems to want to write about it. The launch of TheUpshot, the new project from the New York Times, included a story on the wealth of the middle class, the Times Sunday...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- Illinois Will Send State Spending Data with Tax Refund Checks
Illinois Will Send State Spending Data with Tax Refund Checks
The Chicago Tribune recently reported that taxpayers in Illinois will get a bit of supplemental information to go with their income tax refund checks: information from the Illinois Comptroller’s Office about state spending, including details about the state’s $7.6 billion in unpaid bills.
The flier will be sent to those who receive their refunds via a check in the mail. It features a chart showing how the state's $35.2 billion budget is divided among various programs including education, health care and retirement funds for state workers. […]
[Comptroller Judy Baar] Topinka said the information will help the public “follow the money” and hold lawmakers more accountable for their spending. […]
The Illinois Department of Revenue also plans to offer a “taxpayer receipt,” which amounts to an online calculator that would allow people to plug in how much they paid in taxes and see how their money was split among various programs.
I think this is a novel idea and one that could be replicated. Because of withholding, the relationship a lot of Americans have with income tax filing season is one of getting money back. This sort of transparency effort goes a ways to remind us that, yes, we were paying all year for something, and in the case of Illinois, spending is growing faster than tax collections.
Follow Scott on Twitter.
Buy this blogger a cup of coffee!
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.