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Tax Relief Bill Defeated in House

By  Joe McCoy, Legislative Director

A bill to provide hundreds of millions in tax relief to corporations and individuals was defeated on the House Floor late Tuesday afternoon. The shortage of votes prompted the House sponsor to inform his colleagues that a tax relief bill would be voted on at a future date when sufficient support exists for the measure.

On Tuesday, November 29, the Senate Executive Committee approved legislation principally intended to provide tax relief to CME and the Sears Corporation. The Senate approved the bill, HB 1883 (Senator Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights and Representative Bradley, D-Marion), was approved by the full Senate by a vote of 38-18 and sent to the House. After being approved by the House Revenue Committee, the bill was overwhelmingly defeated on the House Floor by a vote of 8-99-6.

A slightly different version of the bill crafted in the House remains an option for proponents of a tax relief package to entice the CME Group and Sears to maintain their corporate offices in Illinois. That bill, SB 397 (Rep. Bradley, D-Marion), is presently on Order of Second Reading in the House.

The difference between the House and Senate bills centers on the size on an increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Senate version would increase the EITC from 5% to 10%. The House version proposes an increase from 5% to 7.5%. The additional 2.5% in the value of the EITC within the Senate version of the bill would increase the cost of the tax package by an estimated $55 million. The tax relief provisions for CME and Sears remain identical in both bills.

The potential reduction of LGDF revenue from the tax relief is uncertain at the present time. Proponents of the bill contend that the bill would be "revenue neutral" following an infusion of tax revenue once Illinois decouples from a federal depreciation deduction.