Taxing Kathy Posner

I have written about how I cannot figure out mathematically how the coffers of the State of Illinois benefit from all of the tax incentives that Governor Pat Quinn bestows on companies who threaten to leave. One of the reasons is because Quinn has given tax breaks to companies who do not even pay corporate taxes to the state. Instead, their incentive is calculated by the fact that the companies do not have to give the state their employee paycheck state income tax withholding. These companies just get to pocket that money because of an option that Quinn added to the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program.

The first company that Quinn gave that new option to was Motorola Mobility. . Motorola threatened to move out of state unless they got a tax break. Since they already, through clever loopholes, avoided paying any corporate state sales tax, they got a $100 million future break from paying the employee state income tax withholding.

All the tax breaks that corporations have been getting reminded me about how I did not agree last year with the summer state sales tax moratorium for back to school shopping. I wrote two factual mathematical blogs on why I did not like the plan. The legislature passed the plan, despite my clear (not to mention loud) objections. One blog in May and one in July.

State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) was the sponsor of last year’s bill, so I called him and asked if the state sales tax moratorium would be happening again this year. I figured if the Governor were giving tax breaks to large corporations, he would certainly be aiding us “little guys”, to stimulate back to school shopping. While I did not agree with the program, it certainly seemed fair to let it continue. I was wrong. (Not really… since we all know that I am never wrong, you, my faithful readers, know that I was merely being satirical.)

Franks told me, “Quinn does not understand basic economic theory. Cutting taxes spur consumer spending. The empirical evidence shows that back to school sales tax holidays are a net revenue generator for the state. Whereas corporate welfare to multi-national corporations who by and large pay little or no state taxes is a net loss to the state.”

People should remember this when they vote in the next gubernatorial election. Quinn has been giving hundreds of millions of dollars to corporations who do not pay any state corporate tax, but, at the same time, he would not bring back the summer sales tax moratorium for the citizens of the state. Large donations from these corporations to Quinn’s campaign fund might fuel his personal economy, but we “little guys” have the votes.

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