Our new Illinois governor is out pounding the pavement at various institutions and state service organizations – all of whom he says will be harmed by a failure to enact an income tax hike.
I would argue that every citizen of Illinois will be harmed in some way by this exercise in frivolity, buried within this law to double or triple the current state income tax rate. Mind you, I think this is a bad time to raise the income tax rate, but I know the state's in trouble so combining that revenue with a responsible budget is something I wouldn't balk at.
But ... a whole host of NEW TAXES on SERVICES? That's right, folks. Even more money, conveniently couched within the income tax hike legislation. And we don’t even know everything this tax proposal extends to yet. Whoa, there, Pat! Not so fast. (And I thought we threw the crazy man out of office already.)
Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, made an excellent point on one of these vague inclusions that will almost certainly affect This D*mn House: “Other services to buildings and dwellings.” Rutherford aptly pointed out that there is not yet a definition for what this is meant to cover.
“Is that plumbers? Is that electricians? Could that mean new construction? Could there be an actual sales tax on the construction of new homes? How about home remodeling?" he asked.
By all means, let’s penalize people who exercise civic pride and take “the pride of home ownership” to heart!
Sen. Rutherford, PLEASE remind your colleagues that if this is the kind of thing they have in mind, that we already pay it. It’s called REAL ESTATE TAX. Every time you improve your property – and sometimes even when you don’t – the tax assessor decides your house is worth more and that you need to pay more taxes on it. And, you already pay taxes on the MATERIALS you buy to do these upgrades – it’s called a SALES TAX. To further tax residents on ANYTHING they do to maintain or upgrade a home then is double-dipping, plain and simple.
Just so you can see the lengths to which the state is planning to go, here’s a look at the complete list of services to be taxed under the proposed legislation. As you can see, several of these would directly affect homeowners:
— Warehousing and storage of household and specialty goods
— Travel-agent services
— Carpet- and upholstery-cleaning services
— Dating services
— Dry cleaning and laundry except coin-operated
— Consumer goods rental
— Health clubs, tanning parlors and reducing salons
— Linen supply
— Interior-design services
— "Other business services, including copy shops."
— Bowling centers
— Coin-operated video games and pinball machines
— Membership fees in private clubs
— "Admission to spectator sports except horse tracks"
— Admission to cultural events
— Billiard parlors
— Scenic and sightseeing transportation
— Taxi and limousine services
— Unscheduled chartered passenger air transportation
— Motion-picture theaters, except drive-in theaters
— Pet grooming
— Landscape services, including lawn care
— "Income from intrastate transportation of persons"
— Mini-storage, household-goods storage, cold storage
— Marina service (docking, storage, cleaning, repair); marine towing service, including tugboats
— Gift- and package-wrapping service
— "Other services to buildings and dwellings"
— Water softening and conditioning
— Internet service providers
— Short-term auto rental
— Information services
— Amusement-park admission and rides, circuses and fairs, including admission and rides
— Cable and other program distribution
— Rental of videotapes for home viewing
If you live in Illinois, be prepared to part with your wallet. If they can’t get you with the income tax, they are guaranteed to get you with one or more of these. Makes me wonder how far off an “air” tax can be.
“You are breathing oxygen in the state of Illinois. You must now pay xx per second of used air time…”