Revenue Policy

Released September 9, 2015

This Report offers a solution to Illinois' longstanding fiscal shortcomings. There are a number of common sense, data-driven initiatives that will modernize the tax code—and still keep Illinois relatively low tax. The Report details how changes to Illinois' tax policy, primarily to its income and sales taxes, and re-amortizing its pension debt can completely eliminate its structural deficit.

Released May 20, 2015

This report identifies why expanding the base of the state sales tax to include consumer services—like pet grooming, haircuts, country club membership, health clubs, and lawn care—would simultaneously help to stabilize revenue generation for the state’s fiscal system, while reforming tax policy to comport with the modern economy. 

As detailed in the report, Illinois is one of 45 states that impose a general sales tax. And while the state-only sales tax rate of 5 percent is below the national average state-only sales tax rate of 5.5 percent, Illinois’ sales tax rate is applied, in large part to the sale of goods (like clothing and furniture) and not services (like pet grooming, health clubs, lawn care, and haircuts). Illinois’ sales tax applies to few services. In fact, of the 45 states with a general sales tax, the average number of service industries taxed is 51; Illinois is an outlier, taxing only five consumer service industries. And that is why the state’s sales tax policy fails to jibe with the modern economy. Indeed, over 72 percent of the Illinois’ economy is derived from the sale of services, while just 17 percent stems from the sales of goods.

Expanding the Base of Illinois’ Sales Tax to Consumer Services Will Both Modernize State Tax Policy and Help Stabilize Revenue, estimates that $2.105 billion in additional revenue could be generated if Illinois’ sales tax base was expanded to include primarily consumer service industries, while excluding business-to-business transactions and professional services. This could go a long way toward addressing the state’s fiscal difficulties. The report also notes that by broadening the state’s sales tax base, Illinois may also be able to reduce the state’s sales tax rate if policy makers so choose. 

Released May 14, 2015

This Issue Brief is an update to a 2007 Brief, and provides an overview of who pays property taxes in Illinois, the steps in the property tax cycle, and what property tax revenue is used for. 

Released May 6, 2015

PowerPoint presented by Ralph Martire at the Senate Revenue Hearing.

Released April 7, 2014

Policy leaders across Illinois have identified supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship as key to reviving the state’s sluggish economy. And no wonder, given that over 99 percent of all businesses in Illinois are “small business” as defined by the Small Business Administration.  This Report, identifies best practices and policy initiatives decision makers can take to improve the state’s economy and aid small businesses in Illinois.

Released March 28, 2014

Drawing on reports released by Stanford University and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this Issue Brief debunks the myth that if Illinois increased income tax rates on higher incomes there would be a mass exodus of millionaire households out of the state and points out the importance of moving to a fair tax.   

Released October 9, 2007

CTBA's written 2007 testimony on Senate Bill 572 to the House Mass Transit Committee

Released May 7, 2010

Fact Sheets and Report on House Bill 174 of the 96th General Assembly. This tax reform bill would have implemented a number of changes to Illinois' tax structure including tax increases of the personal and corporate income taxes. Thus, generating new revenue for the state.

Released April 26, 2007

Fact Sheets on HB/SB 750 of the 95th General Assembly.

Released January 1, 2003

An overview of Public Act 93-30, which decoupled Illinois from the federal estate tax.

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