The Illinois Senate has followed the House’s lead by one day in approving tax benefits for corporations and lower-income working Illinoisans. The action follows fears of Sears headquarters in Hoffman Estates and CME Group in Chicago moving out of the state. CME Group is the parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The legislation re-figures the way online commodity transactions are taxed (for CME) and extends a tax incentive district (for Sears). The measure also benefits Champion Laboratories in Olney.
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For individual taxpayers, the personal exemption would rise from $2,000 to $2,050 a year and, in subsequent years, be tied to inflation. The earned income tax credit would increase from 5 to 10 percent. While the Senate passed the package with a supermajority late last month, the House did not go along. The legislation was then divided in two – one bill for the corporate incentives and another for the personal exemption and EITC matters. Some Republicans, including Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), pointed out the late-night, last-day, lame-duck vote in January to raise Illinois’ income tax as the reason lawmakers have had to spend this part of the holiday season in Springfield, voting for corporate aid. S.B. 400 (personal exemption and EITC) passed the Senate, 48-4. S.B. 397 (Sears-CME-Champion) passed the Senate, 44-9.