A bill to make publicly traded businesses reveal what they pay in state corporate taxes will not be heard before the state legislature adjourns tomorrow, despite the sponsorship of Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago).
Cullerton Spokesman Ron Holmes says that the Senate president is “waiting for input on how to improve the bill from opponents,” and that the bill is likely to receive more debate this summer.
The Senate Executive Committee passed the legislation 9 to 5 three weeks ago, and, as Progress Illinois reported, Cullerton claimed it would spark a discussion of state corporate tax policy. An oft-cited stat from Cullerton is that two-thirds of Illinois companies pay no corporate income tax, which is based on a 2011 Illinois Department of Revenue report.
But it was precisely this “discussion” that irked bill opponents like Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
Radogno assailed Cullerton for muddying the debate over whether to permanently extend a corporate income tax hike that expires in 2015. That increase raised the rate from 4.8 percent to 7.2 percent of yearly earnings.
Chamber President Doug Whitley, meanwhile, suggested that the bill was a gratuitous jab at business, done in retaliation for the chamber letting Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speak before their members.
It is not clear if these are the opponents Holmes is talking about; a follow-up message was not returned.
Cullerton, though, also encounters opposition from the left, which in part sparked the bill: the Senate President sponsored legislation pushed through the General Assembly last fall that gave tax breaks to the CME Group, Inc. and Sears Holding Corp. Cullerton since acknowledged the need to have a more thoughtful look on the costs and benefits of corporate tax breaks.
Business tax credits and exemptions have cropped up in the last few months as a major rallying point for Illinois progressives. For example, the group Stand Up! Chicago has held many events in protest of CME Group, Inc., including interrupting the company’s annual shareholder meeting last week.