Last night, I started getting emails and texts from some people I know who are pretty plugged-in to Illinois politics. When I say plugged-in, I mean they're obsessed with the political machinations of a state that has just been named (again) as one of America's most corrupt states.

They were pretty fired up about things, as usual. When the subject line of one email I received was "If this happens, we're screwed!" I just had to know what was going on this time to make someone feel that way.

It was the passing of Senate Bill 217 (SB217) by the House Executive Committee by a 9-6-0 vote. I looked up SB217 on the Illinois General Assembly's website, and on it's face, it didn't look that bad. SB217 amends the Parking Excise Tax Act, which basically frees state government in Illinois from paying taxes on parking garages, parking spaces, and parking areas, but just state government. Not you or me. We still have to pay.

Although I hate it when the government conveniently sticks us with rules that they themselves have no mandate (or intention) to follow, I still didn't see why this was so upsetting to some people.

Illinois Policy Institute has the explanation in a story published today:

Small businesses got federal tax relief to handle the COVID-19 economic downturn. Now Springfield is trying to take away the same break on state taxes, costing the state’s main job creators $1 billion with hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans still out of work.

Illinois Policy goes on to point out that while small businesses in Illinois have been and will be on the receiving end of financial help from the federal government by adopting a federal tax break for struggling small businesses, the governor "would effectively strip these small businesses of tax refunds they would be owed by the state of Illinois. The provisions were already eliminated for C corporations, the most common designation for large businesses."

State Senator Dave Syverson was kind enough to take time out of his day to join the WROK Morning Show to discuss SB217 and whether or not it's leading us toward a huge tax increase:


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