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May 11, 2000


CHICAGO-- Governor George H. Ryan signed into law the earned income tax credit bill, which will provide a tax credit to low-income workers.

"Today we are here to sign into law one of the most important measures we have ever passed in Springfield. It will directly benefit people that need our help the most," said Gov. Ryan, who was joined at the bill signing by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Senate Minority Leader Emil Jones and a bipartisan group of General Assembly members supporting the legislation.

House Bill 3939 amends the Illinois Income Tax Act to establish the first-ever Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for individuals. This credit will be equal to 5% of the federal earned income tax credit for the years 2000 through 2002.

"The federal Earned Income Tax Credit has been proven to stimulate our economy," Gov. Ryan said. "With the state EITC, this money will be spent right here in Illinois.

"This will cost the state about $35 million -- but it will be worth every penny because it helps people who are starting out in the workforce," the Governor said. "The state earned income tax credit will put about $50 or more in their pockets."

The Governor commended Mayor Daley and the corporate and civic leaders for their outreach efforts to educate low-income workers about the federal earned income tax credit and said he hopes to join in a similar statewide effort to promote the state EITC.

The chief sponsors of House Bill 3939 are Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago; House Republican Leader Lee Daniels, R-Elmhurst; Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago; Rep. Eileen Lyons, R-Western Springs; and Rep. Julie Hamos, D-Evanston. Chief Senate sponsors were Sen. William Peterson, R-Long Grove; Sen. Dave Sullivan, R-Mount Prospect; Sen. Patrick O'Malley, R-Palos Park; Sen. Adeline Geo-Karis, R-Zion; and Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora.

The state earned income tax credit is just part of $350 million new tax relief provided to the people of Illinois in Gov. Ryan's 2001 budget, passed by the General Assembly. Other tax relief includes expanding the Circuit Breaker program, which provides a tax break for low-income seniors facing rising property taxes and assistance with pharmaceutical costs. Property owners are also getting significant property tax relief. About 2 million homeowners will receive an average check of $125 this fall as a rebate on the property taxes.


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