(Springfield, Illinois) — The Illinois Senate Tuesday passed legislation awarding favorable treatment to Archer Daniels Midland , a rich corporations that threatened to leave the state if they weren’t exempted from tax obligations that small business and average working families are expected to meet.
In response, Keith Kelleher, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, issued the following statement:
The Illinois Senate’s decision to award hefty tax breaks to ADM is another glaring illustration of a state that has its priorities grossly out of whack.
At a time when Illinois is a chronic deadbeat and critical resources such as education, public safety and healthcare remain woefully under-funded, our elected representatives today voted to sink the state further into red ink by absolving some of its richest corporations from paying their fair share in taxes.
Lawmakers will have a hard time explaining why they just gave a gold-plated gift to cash-rich corporations when small business are hampered by lackluster holiday spending forecasts and average families are wondering how they will afford presents for their loved ones. And now those embattled working families will assume an even greater tax burden to compensate for the share that ADM and others have been exempted from paying.
Even before today, a staggering two-thirds of Illinois corporations paid no income tax. Ironically, giants like ADM and Office Depot actually cited this as a reason they should get a free ride, too. In fact, it’s the foremost reason why we need to put the brakes on more giveaways for those who need them the least.
Today’s vote underscores the urgent need to reform Illinois’ tax policy to restore accountability and fairness for everyone. That process starts by adopting legislation pending in Springfield to permit a fair tax system, where those earning incomes pay higher rates and those with lower incomes pay lower rates.
Lawmakers should stop giving handouts to rich corporations and start alleviating the economic pinch on average Illinois workers. The next vote they take should be in favor of a fair tax system in Illinois.