The more the dust has settled around Illinois’ new budget, the more proud we are of the fact that the budget closes three of the corporate tax loopholes ONE Northside has been leading the fight to close for years!
Illinois’ new budget raised ~$5.2 billion in new revenue. $4.6 billion comes from an increase in the individual income tax. $460 million comes from increasing the corporate income tax. $200 million is from corporate tax loopholes. Said another way, 1/3 of the new income from corporations comes from closing loopholes. Still, most of the state’s new revenue comes from middle-income earners.
- In 2012, we passed legislation through the Senate that would require publicly traded corporations to disclose how much they pay in corporate income tax. Speaker Madigan blocked the legislation from advancing in the House, but we did garner 29 co-sponsors.
- We brought hundreds of people over the course of 15+ trips to Springfield to lobby on legislation to close corporate tax loopholes, including two bills ONE Northside took the lead on compiling and introducing. You may remember our original bill that would have raised $2.5 billion by closing over 20 loopholes that we unveiled at our Community Convention in 2016. (Here’s a great Sun-Times article). This year we focused on a new bill with Rep. Guzzardi that would close 9 loopholes and raise $924 million. The three that were closed in the budget were in both of our bills.
- We did multiple direct actions — including individual hits on corporations, Moral Mondays that targeted big corporations (like our flash mob to the Electric Slide), visits to Rauner and Madigan’s campaign donors, and Resist Trump Tuesdays (like our “sing-in” at tax-dodger Disney this past February) — all the while advancing our narrative that big corporations and the wealthy must pay their fair share.
- We connected the closure of human services to the fact that corporations don’t pay their fair share in IL (like this Sun-Times article).
- In 2015-2016, we trained over 200 individuals on the state budget and revenue crisis through 20 events at our member institutions.
- We participated in the #MarchtoSpringfield to hear what people want for their communities and to share our analysis that when big corporations pay their fair share, we can have the things all our communities deserve.
What’s next? We have a lot more work to do to win a tax code that raises money from the wealthy and big corporations, rather than relying on middle- and low-income families to shoulder the burden. We are very excited for this first victory in tax fairness. It is the first time in the last decade that the legislature has raised revenue by closing loopholes.
The 2018 elections will provide a good opportunity to make sure progressive revenue solutions (like a graduated income tax, closing tax loopholes that benefit the rich and big corporations, and making the financial sector pay their fair share) is a key part of the debate. Our economic justice team is exploring ways to win a graduated income tax in the next election cycle and will continue fighting to close corporate tax loopholes. We will also be paying attention to and fighting federal budget cuts that President Trump proposes.
We celebrate this victory, while recognizing that government funded programs are still under attack at every level. We are doing listening sessions at our member institutions to hear how budget cuts (state and federal) are threatening our members and create opportunities for people to take action. If you’d like to schedule one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to get involved in our campaign, please contact email@example.com.
P.S. Here are the technical details on the loopholes that were closed:
- profits from off-shore oil & gas drilling will now be included in Illinois income tax returns (eliminate the continental shelf exemption)
- companies can no longer get an automatic Illinois tax credit when they expand their production anywhere in the country (decouple from the federal qualified production deduction)
- insurance, financial and airline companies can no longer hide their profits in subsidiaries out of state (repeal the non-combination rule)
P.P.S. Rep. Greg Harris, who played a key role in negotiating the budget, has one of the best summaries we’ve seen of what is in the budget bills.