Local cities are planning for $200,000 to $400,000 in state money to be ripped out of its budgets.

Local cities are planning for $200,000 to $400,000 in state money to be ripped out of its budgets.

Under Gov. Pat Quinn’s state operating budget proposal, the Local Government Distribution fund could be cut by 20 percent.

For the city of Washington, that could mean a $256,000 hit to its budget.

“Yes, a cut in funds of that size will be felt,” said Washington City Administrator Tim Gleason.

The city is nearing the end of its budgeting for fiscal year 2013-14. The city’s budget must be approved by May 1.

While the amount is only an estimate, Gleason said the city has to be ready to deal with another loss of state funds.

“Capital projects will be scrutinized the most and we will see what can be delayed this year, if the cut turns out to be that big,” Gleason said.

Meanwhile, Morton could lose $230,000 to $250,000. East Peoria could lose about $400,000 under the state budget plan, said East Peoria City Administrator Tom Brimberry.

Morton City Treasurer Wendy Ferrell said the city is still assessing how the potential loss in state funds will hit that city’s budget.

Tazewell County Board member John Ackerman said this proposed cut is on top of cuts made in 2012 to local personal-property replacement tax and the inheritance tax.

“Once more we are being told to pay for the spending problem in Springfield,” Ackerman said.
State Rep. Keith Sommer, R-Mackinaw, said local communities have a “real concern” with the plan proposed by Quinn, a Democrat, earlier this month.

“This is another example of the state trying to balance its books on the backs of cities,” Sommer said.

Another local Republican, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said the root of the state’s budget problems is the increasing costs related to the state’s pension funds. On Monday, Rutherford of Chenoa, was in Washington to talk about recent initiatives by the treasurer’s office.

“I understand this budget has draconian cuts because the General Assembly has not addressed the problems of pensions,” Rutherford said. “New revenue has increased $600 millions while the cost of pensions alone has increased $945 million. That leaves a $345 million difference and questions of how to close that gap.”