CHICAGO — Thanks to rising tax revenue, Illinois managed to chip away slightly at the unpaid obligations on its books going into the new fiscal year on July 1, but the number remained at a staggering $7.5 billion to $8 billion, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka reported Monday.

The state closed out the two previous fiscal years, 2010 and 2011, with about $8.5 billion in bills for schools, transit systems, employee health insurance and Medicaid. That number shrank to $7.5 billion to $8 billion at the close of fiscal 2012 on June 30 as an income tax increase that took effect in January 2011 brought an infusion of cash to help ease the state’s cash crunch.

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