Ill. tax measure would paint only partial picture
CHAMPAIGN – Top Democratic lawmakers opened the fall legislative session in Springfield by proposing that publicly traded companies disclose what they pay – or don’t pay – in state taxes, but their proposed attempt to improve the state’s tax policies may not paint as complete a picture as they’d like.
Taxpayer advocates in Wisconsin, which has its own tax-disclosure law, say corporations are generally structured in ways too complicated and too widely scattered to force them to produce a simple, accurate bottom-line figure on the revenue they generate in any given state. Skeptical economists in Illinois agree.
Senate President John Cullerton and House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie introduced the disclosure legislation as a way to examine how much corporations are paying and gauge the effect of tax breaks that have generated heavy criticism of state government in recent years. The measure passed in the Senate last week, despite warnings by business leaders that the measure was intrusive and could make Illinois less competitive.
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