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Job creators call on Illinois Senate to demand reforms in Madigan’s tax hike budget




SPRINGFIELD – Monday, a group of associations representing Illinois private sector employers called on Governor Rauner and lawmakers to pass reforms that will make Illinois more attractive for job creators while lawmakers work to get Illinois' fiscal house in order.

The Illinois Senate will consider a budget Tuesday that would raise taxes on businesses from 5.25 to 7 percent and from 3.75 to 4.95 percent on individuals. No substantial reforms on property taxes, workers comp or pension is in the Democrats' plan.

“A month ago, the business community labeled this one of the worst session for employers; I’m amending my statement today to emphatically say this is the worst session for employers," Greg Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association said.

"Illinois needs a balanced budget, but manufacturing companies also need stability and predictability from job crushing taxes and regulations.  Adding billions of dollars in permanent tax hikes without reducing pension costs, lowering property taxes, or enacting economic development reforms is a recipe for disaster," he said. 

Despite repeated calls for compromise, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a massive $5 billion tax hike without including meaningful reforms that could revitalize the economy and send a strong signal that Illinois is a good place to do business. The lack of legitimate discussion – and inclusion – of key reforms in this final package simply doubles down on the failed economic policies of the past.

Even Comptroller Susanna Mendoza noted that the budget plan passed largely with Democrat votes last night fails to reduce the nearly $15 billion backlog of bills.

Rob Karr of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association doubled down on the call for government reform.

“IRMA has repeatedly and publicly recognized the need for additional revenues as part of any solution, but not at the expense of Main Street retailers. What has occurred is billions of dollars in new taxes without meaningful reforms. So far what we have seen from Springfield is the same pattern that got Illinois into its current mess in the first place,” he said.

While the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is not so strongly opposed to a tax hike, they remain firm on the need for reforms.

“The Illinois Chamber of Commerce calls on the Senate to reject SB 9 and SB 6.  Action by the House thus far does not seem to comprehend the desperate need for economic reforms nor a clear path to fiscal sanity,” said Todd Maisch, president & CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Illinois has been without a budget for two years, and is paying bills as instructed by federal courts. Governor Rauner promises to veto House Speaker Mike Madigan's 2017 budget as it is currently presented.


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