Illinois bill proposes corporations that don’t pay taxes disclose why

Photo: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, an older white man in a dark suit, sitting in session. Photo source: Chicago Tribune, Google Images

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton | Chicago Tribune

Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton announced the Corporate Tax Transparency bill (SB 282) at a Lakeview Action Coalition meeting May 6.

Under the proposed legislation, a public corporation would have to make tax filings public, and if the corporation does not pay any taxes, it would have to disclose why. Cullertion will introduce the bill later this week.

State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz and Ann Williams pledged to support this legislation if it reaches the Illinois House.

Over two thirds of corporations pay no federal corporate income tax, according to a Wall Street Journal report. And two thirds of Illinois corporations pay no taxes to the state, said Gov. Pat Quinn to the Chicagoist.

LAC representatives spoke on state and federal budget discussions that often revolve around cutting social safety nets, like food stamps, Medicaid, HIV-related care, etc. in lieu of closing corporate tax loopholes.

“As a taxpayer, I expect my tax dollars to go to the common good. [Social services] are not line items that can be eliminated,” said  Sue Gries, director of finance and business at Deborah’s Place. “In the midst of great income and wealth inequality in this country, we can ask everyone to pay their fair share.”

U.S. Representatives Danny Davis and Mike Quigley pledged to strengthen tax reform and committed to meet with members of LAC over the summer to continue to discuss these issues.

“There’s nothing I like better than citizens in action,” said Davis. “I commend all of the elected officials who are here today … I absolutely support [LAC's] agenda 100 percent.”

The LAC agenda includes ending youth homelessness, particularly for LGBT youth, reforming police policy on transgender detainees, providing affordable housing, and making health care accessible for uninsured and under-insured people.

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