March 08, 2013

Big biz, big breaks

There’s been a lot of noise from our state’s elected officials about the $96-billion shortfall facing Illinois’ pension funds. It’s been used as an excuse for proposals that make workers and retirees alone pay for decades of neglect by politicians, and for budgets that cut services and destroy jobs. Governor Quinn’s recent budget address is just the latest example; he says he’ll cut funding for schools and universities if legislators don’t slash pensions.

The reality is we can afford both adequate funding for public services and keeping promises made to retirees. The problem is that far too much money is wasted on special tax breaks and loopholes for large corporations that deprive the state of revenue while failing to provide promised benefits.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be providing more detail on some of the worst examples of loopholes and giveaways in the Illinois tax code, and how closing them can lead to a better future for public workers and all of Illinois.

Many of the loopholes amount to nothing more than giveaways. They don’t create or preserve jobs, they don’t keep businesses in the state or attract new ones, and they don’t improve the lives of Illinois residents.

These loopholes have skewed the state’s tax code in favor of large corporations while doing nothing to attract jobs or businesses, failing to help struggling small businesses, and providing no benefit to consumers.

Plus, these corporate giveaways deprive the state of about $2 billion a year that could be used to provide retirement security for middle class workers and make vital investments in infrastructure and education – which, unlike tax loopholes, have real economic benefits over time.

Closing these loopholes is a key part of the We Are One Illinois’ coalition’s plan to bring real reform to public employee pensions while providing the funding needed for key services Illinoisans rely on every days. Click here to read the coalition’s full pension reform plan.

The following articles are part of the "Big Biz, Big Breaks" series – this list will be updated as new items are published, so come back here to read the latest on Illinois' wasteful tax loopholes:

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