Illinois Tax Breaks
12:12 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Ill. House OKs tax relief for businesses, families

Will be updated. For the latest updates on this story, follow Illinois Public Radio reporter @AmandaVinicky on Twitter.

Updated 2:58 p.m. with input of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

Updated 2:29 p.m. - replaces story on passage of bill for working poor with version encompassing passage of both bills.

The Illinois House has approved tax breaks for businesses, including some big names that are threatening to leave the state.

The tax package includes aid for Sears and financial exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

It also includes broader tax breaks, like a credit for research and development and a more generous method of writing off losses.

The legislation passed 81-28 Monday and now goes to the Senate.

Earlier, the House also passed tax relief aimed at poor and middle-class families.

Gov. Pat Quinn says he commends the Illinois House for passing tax breaks.

Quinn said in a statement Monday afternoon that he encourages the Illinois Senate "to take swift action" on Tuesday. The House approved two tax measures on Monday. One allows tax breaks for businesses, including big names that are threatening to leave Illinois. The other measure was aimed at poor and middle-class families.

Quinn says the package will "bring much-needed relief" to families and help employers "put more people back to work."

Original Story:

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

A tax breaks package will be debated in the Illinois House this afternoon, after passing out of a revenue committee this morning.

The last time the Illinois House took up a similar package, it went down in a stunning defeat.

But lawmakers are intent on passing something to keep the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group and Sears headquarters in Illinois.

Losing them would mean a loss of revenue for the state, not to mention a public relations disaster as the state's trying to ward off accusations the climate in Illinois is bad for business.

So legislators have resurrected the package.

But this time it's split into two pieces of legislation:

  • One measure's replete with tax breaks for the CME and Sears, as well as other provisions to benefit small and medium-sized businesses. 
  • The second increases a tax credit for the working poor and ups the standard exemption for individual taxpayers.

Sponsor John Bradley, a Marion Democrat, says it's a tough vote.

"We are doing what we have to do with this legislation to remain competitive in the Midwest, competitive nationally, and competitively in the United States,” Bradley said.

If the House does pass the pair of measures this time, the Senate's scheduled to vote on them tomorrow.