McHENRY - Leftist community action groups protest outside State Rep. Jack Franks' (D-Marengo) office Thursday morning, demanding he join fellow House Democrats in an effort to require Illinois businesses to post online their tax returns.
The protestors from the "Fair Economy Illinois" coalition organized a Tweet barrage with comments such as "People like @RepJackFranks are putting corporations over people" and "81% of the IL revenue comes from people. Only 8% from corporations. Show us where the money's at!"
State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington) who serves on the Revenue Committee said the measure the protesters want was soundly defeated in the Illinois house.
"It's just a bill to harass job creators," McSweeney told Illinois Review. "With a 7.5 percent unemployment rate, the last thing we need in Illinois is to create another obstacle for companies whose employees pay incomes taxes. Requiring companies put their tax returns online will also discourage any new companies coming to Illinois. This would do nothing to create new jobs."
But McSweeney's sentiments are totally rejected by the groups protesting Thursday morning. They see that while corporate owners and their employees pay state income taxes, corporations themselves escape paying taxes, and that should be public knowledge.
"The companies' financial statements are available to the public, and are regulated by the SEC," McSweeney said. "The information they want is available."
Illinois would be the only state that requires publicly-held businesses to post their tax records online for public viewing if HB 3627 were to become law.
"Illinois faces overwhelming deficits, unemployment far higher than the national average, plus the highest income tax rates we have ever paid. The first way to climb out of this hole is to create additional jobs by attracting more companies and engendering opportunities for those who are already here to expand," Mark Denzler, vice president and COO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, told the House Revenue Committee last fall.
"This proposed Tax Disclosure Act does the exact opposite-it gives any job creator pause before doing business in our state."
Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the Illinois House, and they may be pushed to try an array of measures to pressure Illinois companies to pay more into the state's coffers.