Close Corporate Tax Loopholes, Restore Illinois’ Fiscal Health

Illinois has a revenue crisis. Meanwhile, according to the Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue, two-thirds of Illinois corporations do not pay any corporate income tax to the state.

This fiscal year, lawmakers used accounting gimmicks to avoid cuts. However, if lawmakers don’t find additional revenue soon, Illinoisans will face profoundly painful budget cuts beginning July 2015, including the following:

  • 13,000 teachers laid off
  • 21,000 seniors denied home healthcare aides
  • 140,000 people with mental illness denied medication and/or therapy
  • 41,000 fewer children would receive child care, preventing their parents from working
  • 11,000 victims of domestic abuse would not receive proper shelter and assistance

Two important pieces of legislation would go a long way to helping us avoid these devastating cuts.

HB 390 is a bill that would suspend three unnecessary corporate tax loopholes to pay $445 million in unpaid bills each year to social service providers.

  • Taxes Foreign Dividends  – $320 million
  • Decouples from the federal Domestic Activities Production Deduction  – $100 million
  • Repeals the Noncombination Rule – $25 million

Why is this important?

  • Despite reducing the backlog of bills over the past four years by nearly $2 billion by the end of this fiscal year, Illinois still has about $5 billion worth of unpaid bills from the general fund.
  • These tax breaks do not generate economic activity and instead give away $445 million that the state desperately needs.
  • Many human services providers, school districts, higher education institutions, and local governments have to wait several months to receive payments from the State.

The Illinois Corporate Tax Disclosure and Responsibility Act (HB3627) is a simple piece of legislation that provides for transparency. It requires publicly traded corporations doing business in Illinois to disclose the amount of corporate income taxes they pay to the State of Illinois. These corporations’ taxes would be disclosed to the general public via the Internet a full 2 years after the fact.  Click here to see a list of Illinois House legislators currently co-sponsoring this bill.  Click here to see a list of civic and community organizations that support this billPolling shows corporate tax transparency is popular with Illinois voters too.

Why is this important?

  • Publicly traded corporations already tell shareholders how their investments resulted in losses and profits. The people of Illinois deserve the same.
  • According to the Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue, two-thirds of Illinois corporations pay no corporate income taxes to the state of Illinois. However, the state is not allowed to disclose which corporations are not paying taxes and why they are not paying taxes.
  • Illinois is in a revenue crisis, and we need to have a fair and just system where legislators and policy-makers understand who is paying how much, so that everyone pays their fair share.
  • This will not affect small businesses. Only publicly traded corporations – i.e. companies big enough to have stockholders – will have to disclose their taxes.

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