December 6, 2017

Fed tax cut will be great, but Illinois must change to compete with neighbors

A central Illinois congressman says residents hit with high property taxes and a recent state income tax hike will benefit from the tax reform making its way through Congress.

The House and Senate versions that Republicans passed are different, and they must be reconciled before being sent to the president.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said even with the various changes reconciled, the measure will mean small businesses in Illinois will get a lower federal tax burden.

"Those who believe in their local communities, those who’ve invested their time, their talent and their savings in our communities to provide that service, they’re going to get more money in their pocket," Davis said. "I think that’s a good thing. That’s not a bad thing when you take money out of Washington and put it back home."

But critics say tax cuts will create big deficits to the tune of more than $1 trillion.

"You’re going to see any deficit swallowed up by economic growth," Davis said. He noted the economy under President Barack Obama was stagnant at 1 percent growth but the most recent economic indicators under President Donald Trump have growth at more than 3 percent.

The stock market surged in early trading Monday following the news of tax reform passing the Senate over the weekend.

But will any potential growth be felt in Illinois?

The state’s leading manufacturing group said federal tax cuts will help manufacturers but there still needs to be big changes in Illinois for the state to be able to compete.

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Vice President Mark Denzler said dropping the federal corporate income tax by 15 percent will benefit Illinois manufacturers.

"The federal tax reform is great," Denzler said. "It’s going to help every manufacturer across the country. We’re excited about the opportunity for the first tax reform in decades. However, we now need to move and we need to get many of these changes made in Illinois so we can start competing with our neighboring states."

Denzler has joined others from the business community for years calling on Illinois lawmakers to help lower the state's workers’ compensation costs and high property taxes.

All Illinois’ neighboring states, Denzler said, are adding tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs, but Illinois is "stuck in neutral."

Congressional Republicans hope to get the bill to Trump before the Christmas break.