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Fair Taxes and Ending Wasteful Loopholes

Date: 
05/14/2013

Closing Wasteful Corporate Loopholes in Illinois

by William McNary, Co-Director, Citizen Action/Illinois

During the 2013 legislative session, we asked you to help us pass legislation to stop the 3 most wasteful corporate loopholes in Illinois. With your help, over 9,000 emails and calls were made to our elected officials in Springfield demanding an end to wasteful loopholes.

As a result, the measure which would end half a billion dollars in corporate tax giveaways was approved by the House Revenue & Finance Committee.  As Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, noted, the measure is “in play”.  Though time ran out this legislative session, our efforts have moved ending special tax breaks and tax fairness to the front burner.

With this greater attention on tax fairness, progressives in the state legislature have introduced a constitutional amendment that will allow a “fair tax where lower rates apply to lower income levels and higher rates apply to higher income levels.”

We will continue to build support for tax reform in Illinois and make sure our taxes go to the right priorities, improving our state, not the corporate bottom-line.

Please take a moment to sign on to our petition: http://takeaction.abetterillinois.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=6579

A recent study shows that Illinois corporations pay less in taxes than most other states.  From Greg Hinz in Crain’s Chicago Business:

I hate to disappoint the hell-in-a-handbasket boo-birds out there, but a new report out today by a Michigan-based economic consultant says that business taxes in Illinois actually are below the national median and mean.

According to the Anderson Economic Group, Illinois ranks 20th of the 50 states and District of Columbia in its business tax burden, defined as the share of pretax operating margin that a firm has to pay out in combined state and local taxes. …

Perhaps more significant, Illinois ranks relatively well among other Midwestern states, even after jacking up its income tax at the beginning of 2011. Iowa is lower at 8.5 percent, and Missouri just below at 9.2 percent. But higher are Minnesota (10 percent), Indiana (10.6 percent), Ohio (11.1 percent), Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin (11.3 percent) and Michigan (13.3 percent).

Down in Texas, whose Gov. Rick Perry recently came up here on a rather bellicose corporate raiding mission, the total tax burden is a little lower than ours. But at 9.2 percent — compared with 9.6 percent in Illinois — the difference is what a good Texan might call a lil' itty-bitty.