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Where do your tax dollars go? (FY15)


Ever wonder how the state of Illinois spends our money? Look no further. The chart to the right is an easy cents-on-the-dollar breakdown of the state’s General Revenue Fund spending. (The General Revenue Fund is the state’s main checking account – the money with no strings attached.)dollarchart2014

• 24¢ of every dollar pays for health care – that’s mostly Medicaid services for low-income children, seniors and people with disabilities.

• 19¢ of every dollar goes to preschool-to-12th grade education. That’s mostly the state’s share of our local public elementary high school funding.

• 17¢ of every dollar goes to pay for public employee pensions and past pension debt. The General Assembly has passed a law to bring this number down, but it’s currently being reviewed by the courts. Pension funding can’t be cut until the courts rule.

• 14¢ of every dollar pays for human services. Human services include DCFS programs for abused and neglected children, drug abuse treatment and prevention and more.

• 6¢ of every dollar goes to debt payments.

• 5¢ of every dollar pays for higher education – public universities and financial aid like MAP grants.

• 5¢ of every dollar pays for public safety – the State Police, prisons and consumer safety programs.

• 9¢ of every dollar goes to pay for everything else. A lot of that money (about 3¢) goes to local governments. The rest goes to important programs like public transportation, state parks, DMVs and more.

• It’s worth noting that only 11¢ of every dollar (spread out across all these categories) is used to pay for the state workforce. Want to see it another way? Here’s a chart that breaks the state General Revenue Fund (GRF) budget down into percents and dollar figures: 


Want even more information? Click below to view an informative PowerPoint presentation.


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Illinois Budget Facts
The Great Pension Debate
Where your tax dollars go