April 18, 2013

Bill introduced to close wasteful loopholes

A dozen lawmakers in the General Assembly announced their support today for legislation that would begin to close wasteful corporate tax loopholes.

The legislation (SB 1159) would eliminate three loopholes that cost the state $445 million annually – money that could be spent improving public services or shoring up pension funds.

"We need to view tax expenditures like all other state spending," said Senator Toi Hutchinson, lead sponsor of SB 159. "What is their purpose? Do they work? Can we afford them? If not, we need to end them."

Closing wasteful tax loopholes is a key component of the We Are One Illinois coalition’s plan to fix the state’s underfunded pension system while protecting benefits for retired workers. That plan would eliminate $2 billion in loopholes, including the three in SB 1159.

The legislation, as amended, would eliminate three major loopholes that allow corporations to avoid state income taxes:

"Tax expenditures drain billions from the state coffers every year," said William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois and legislative chair of the Responsible Budget Coalition. "They include loopholes that allow large profitable corporations to avoid state income taxes entirely, making it harder to fund our budget priorities and pay our back bills."

Any revenue captured through the closings would be dedicated towards paying down the state's $9 billion in past-due bills.

"Our state's key priorities, like education and human services, are being seriously underfunded because we don't have adequate revenue," said Rep. Will Davis, House sponsor of SB 1159. "This bill is a step towards setting our priorities right by cutting handouts to corporations rather than payments for schools and services."

Other lawmakers backing SB 1159 include Senators Melinda Bush, William Delgado, Michael Noland and Heather Steans, and Representatives Kelly Cassidy, Ken Dunkin, Marcus Evans, Greg Harris, Naomi Jakobsson, Bob Martwick, Brandon Phelps, Art Turner, Mike Smiddy, Chris Welch and Ann Williams.

If your representative or senator isn’t on this list, call them today and tell them it’s time to close wasteful loopholes and support SB 1159 – you can call toll-free at (888) 912-5959 or use our click-to-call tool.

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