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SB 282: House Revenue Cmte Opposes Corporate Tax Transparency

Two-Thirds of Corporations in Illinois Pay No Income Tax to the State! 

Senate Bill 282 would have helped us know who they are & why they pay nothing.

In November, the Illinois Senate passed SB 282 with no Republican votes, as they all lined up behind the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Manufacturers Association and other corporate lobbyists who made SB 282 their number one target in the “lame duck” session. Senate President John Cullerton, however, did a good job rallying his troops to get the needed 30 votes for passage.

The Illinois House was a different story. Despite an agreement by House Democratic Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie to be chief sponsor of the bill, and despite the presence of a strong Democratic majority (soon to be a super-majority), the bill failed to pass the House Revenue Committee because two Democratic Representatives voted “no”.

As Senate President Cullerton can proudly take responsibility for rallying Senate Democrats to pass SB 282, one man–Speaker Michael Madigan–should take responsibility for allowing this good government bill to fail in the House.

This issue is not over. And as it begins to gain even more heat in coming months, as more and more Illinois taxpayers and voters question the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year in tax breaks to profitable corporations, there will be a time when Speaker Madigan needs to stand up and clearly answer the question: Which side are you on?

Background:

The Illinois Director of Revenue testified last year that two-thirds of corporations in Illinois are paying no Illinois corporate income tax. Because of current laws, no one can say which corporations aren’t paying taxes, or why.

This is important because when corporations don’t pay their fair share, the rest of us make up the difference – either through paying higher taxes or suffering cuts to education, health care and infrastructure improvements. Read George Geohl’s opinion piece in Huffington Post entitled “Corporations in Illinois: What Have You Got to Hide”.

Illinois voters from across the political spectrum thought the intent of SB 282 was a very good thing: Read the non-partisan polling numbers here.

SB 282, the Illinois Corporate Tax Disclosure and Responsibility Act would have required publicly traded corporations to disclose the amount of taxes paid and tax credits received.  Big-business and its lobby, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, spread several myths about the impacts of this bill. Click here to get the facts.