Senator labels business tax a big mistake
Big businesses might be able to absorb a proposed "business opportunity" tax -- "for the privilege of doing business in the state" -- but small business owners might be hit overly hard, an Illinois state senator said recently.
The proposal would assess additional taxes on businesses based on their annual payroll. Businesses with payrolls of $100,000 would pay $225, between $100,000 and $250,000 would be charged $750, between $250,000 and $500,000 would be assessed $3,750, between $500,000 and $1.5 million would pay $7,500, and in excess of $1.5 million would pay $15,000.
State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) said he has seen what high taxes have done to Illinois in the past and is astounded that several of his counterparts in the General Assembly are in favor of an amendment to a proposed beverage tax.
“It’s a bad bill; it’s bad for the people of Illinois,” McCarter said.
McCarter said he fears that if the bill passes, it will be a big burden for small businesses because even the smallest tier of the payroll tax would be higher than the $25 franchise tax they currently pay.
“It’s nothing but an opportunity to pick people’s pockets,” said McCarter.
The bill has received support from both Democrats and Republicans seeking a solution to balance the budget, but McCarter fears it could make businesses leave the state -- and his constituents -- high and dry.
“This doesn’t fix the problem long term,” he said.
When taxes have been raised in the past, he said he saw people move out of the state for a more affordable place to live despite having jobs that yielded a good income. Having it happen again means less money going back into Illinois’ economy.
“We saw what happened last time,” McCarter said. “This is a huge mistake.”
The bill was introduced by State Sen. Toi Richardson (D-Chicago Heights) and was placed on the Senate calendar for a third reading last week.