Lawmakers trying to pull together a tax package don’t have much time. The Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee is meeting a few times leading up to the resumption of the General Assembly Nov. 29. A big piece is a tax break for the parent of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which has made clear other states are interested in luring it away. Wednesday’s hearing at the Capitol was not for a debate or vote.
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Legislation which did not come up for a vote last week would allow CME to pay closer to $60 million in corporate taxes to the state, as opposed to the nine-digit figure to which it’s accustomed. The tax increase approved in January pushed CME’s expected bill to almost $160 million. The firm claims it pays 6 percent of Illinois’ entire corporate tax collection. CME’s problem, says the committee chairman, State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), is that “the single source of determining your tax liability is where the actual good is sold or transaction is completed.” The proposal would reduce Illinois’ share by taking away most electronic transactions. A member of Occupy Springfield, Anthony Stephens, challenged the committee to “stand in solidarity with the 99 percent of Illinoisans who are experiencing an economic downturn.”