A Blueprint for Illinois Job Creation

From the Illinois House Republican Caucus…

We traveled around Illinois this week introducing our new jobs plan to several communities in an effort to become more competitive with other states in order to retain and grow jobs.

Media Round-up:

We’ve all seen the news. Mounting debt, sluggish consumer confidence, zero jobs created in August – the first time since World War II that the U.S. economy had a net zero jobs created for a month – and the Illinois unemployment rate at a staggering 9.9%, nearly a full point higher than the national average.

We’ve not only seen the headlines, we feel their impact in our daily lives and in our very own families and neighborhoods. Most people know someone who has lost their job, their house, or both. Hardship borne from unemployment and under-employment continues to plague families from Chicago to Cairo.

With Illinois’ abundant natural resources, there is no reason we shouldn’t be a national leader in job creation. Illinois is well known as a transportation hub at the cross-section of American commerce with premier interstate highways, the heart of commuter and freight rail lines, and one of the nation’s largest airport.

Unfortunately, Illinois has become just as well known for an anti-business climate punctuated by an oppressive tax and regulation structure that puts us at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states. We need to recognize that small business is the engine that drives our economy and reignite private-sector job creation by eliminating the dis-incentives for employers to expand and hire new workers.

This week, House Republicans introduced a plan to make Illinois more attractive to all businesses, from large manufacturers to small business entrepreneurs and family farmers. Specifically, we propose to:

Re-instate the Net Operating Loss deduction to allow employers to use their net operating loss as a tax deduction; extend corporate carry forwards from 12 years to 20 years; and allow a two-year carryback.

Re-enact and make permanent the Illinois Research & Development tax credit to allow businesses undertaking legitimate research and development projects to qualify for a tax credit each year and add ethanol and biodiesel research as qualified R & D activities.

Extend the life of existing Enterprise Zones by up to 20 years. With most designated Enterprise Zones in Illinois set to expire in the next ten years, our proposal allows municipalities across the state to extend the enterprise zones in their communities that provide tax incentives to businesses who have located or choose to locate in these underdeveloped areas and create jobs.

Reduce the administrative costs and burdens involved with setting up and incorporating a Limited Liability Corporation in Illinois. We are proposing to reduce the fee from $750 to $100. The highest fee that any neighboring state currently charges is Wisconsin at $130.

Increase the estate tax exemption to $5 million. Under the current law, when family farms are passed from generation to generation the heirs are hit with a huge estate tax if their assets are worth more than $2 million. Family farm assets are invested in land and equipment leaving limited available cash flow. Our proposal would raise the estate tax exemption to $5 million—which mirrors the federal tax code.

This five-point blueprint is the first step toward getting Illinois’ economy back on track and reestablishing ourselves as a national leader in technological innovation and job creation. We may have introduced some of these proposals in a more aggressive way—but we believe this package will get the votes to pass with support from our friends on the other side of the aisle. It doesn’t take an economist to tell us that when more people are working and re-investing in our communities, our economy grows stronger. For every point we reduce our unemployment rate, the state generates around $600 million in new revenue to fund state programs and services. Simply put, we can’t afford not to enact these proposals.

This package coupled with our tireless fight for reforms and more efficiencies in government will be a recipe for success in Illinois.


Copyright Publius Forum 2001