close
close

Illinois lawmakers consider tax and spending policy in final days of session – Illinois

(The Center Square) – Illinois lawmakers continue to consider tax increases on businesses ahead of the final nine days of the scheduled session. Debate continues over whether to eliminate the grocery tax in Illinois and whether local governments will receive state tax dollars to offset losses in local coffers.

Last week, Gov. JB Pritzker's office told state officials that his proposed $1 billion in tax increases were unpopular and that they needed to prepare for $800 million in cuts. On Monday, Pritzker reiterated his position.

“At this point, it's really up to the Legislature to decide whether they like what was in the original budget and what they might want to change,” Pritzker said.

The proposed tax increases included a cap on the rebates discount retailers receive for collecting and remitting taxes to state and local governments. House Bill 5844 by Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, is similar to Pritzker's proposal but increases the percentage of the rebate and lowers the cap to $500 per month. Guzzardi said other states have stricter caps.

Rob Karr of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association said Illinois can't compare to other states.

“Illinois has the highest taxable jurisdictions in the country and the most overlap with jurisdictions in the country, all with different tax rates, where the Illinois retailer is the one in control,” Karr said at a financial briefing late Tuesday House of Representatives Finance and Finance Committee.

Another part of Pritzker's proposed budget was to eliminate the state's 1% grocery tax. The state suspended the tax in the fiscal year 2023 budget due to record inflation under the Biden administration, but offset local government revenue losses with state tax dollars. Pritzker's proposal for fiscal year 2025 does not include this compensation.

Brad Cole of the Illinois Municipal League said a measure by state Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, would allow lost local revenue to be made up with state money, but the cost is estimated at $325 million.

“This bill fills that gap with general state revenue, and I think the question is whether the state wants to do that or not,” Cole said.

State Senator Don DeWitte, R-St., who is in charge of the overall budget. Charles said Republicans are part of the ongoing negotiations, but time will tell whether they incorporate their votes into the budget.

“This ultimately leads to a meeting between the governor and the four legislators,” DeWitte said. “This is the point at which the stage is set when it comes to a final budget package that will be presented to the legislature.”

MPs are due to adjourn their meetings on May 24th. They have until May 31 to pass a balanced budget with a simple majority.

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *