Changes could be coming to Illinois business tax incentives

Illinois lawmakers are questioning the viability of the current tax incentive system in the state. Recently, what is said to be the first of several meetings on the subject was held. The results of those meetings could mean changes are coming to how the government awards business tax incentives.

One of the concerns lawmakers expressed is the fact that $1.15 billion in tax incentives were paid out in the state's 2012 fiscal year. Despite this, Illinois still has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country. Even so, some of the companies that received the state's number one business tax incentive increased jobs in our state two-and-a-half times more than the amount by which they told they state they would. In addition, the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit is seen as being able to bring businesses to the state and keep them here.

Another concern is the fact that the businesses receiving a large portion of the incentives fail to pay state income tax. The state is receiving only a small portion, if any, of income taxes from these companies. Of course, lawmakers would like to see that change.

Preliminary proposals are to change the amount of incentives and the way that companies are selected to receive them. If changes are made, it could have a significant impact on what companies receive business tax incentives and how much the chosen companies will receive. Illinois businesses may benefit from keeping an eye on the progress of these discussions since they could one day affect how business is done in our state.

Source:, Lawmakers question Illinois' corporate tax breaks, Sara Burnett, Jan. 17, 2014

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