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Question of the day

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012

* The setup

Democratic leaders in the Illinois General Assembly are backing legislation that would require some corporations to reveal their income-tax bills.

Senate President John Cullerton and House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie will announce their support Tuesday for the measure. Tuesday is the first day of the Legislature’s fall veto session.

The Chicago Democrats want publicly traded corporations to post online the amount of corporate income taxes they paid two years prior to publication. The lawmakers say that would reduce potential competitive disadvantage to businesses that must publicize expenditures.

Officials say two-thirds of corporations pay no income taxes because of deductions, tax breaks and “loopholes.”

The proposal is here.

* The Question: Should public corporations be required to disclose the amount of Illinois state income taxes they pay? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


…Adding… Just to clear up some confusion in comments, you cannot FOIA this info, it’s not publicly available to anyone and state income taxes are not broken out as a completely separate category in SEC filings.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


84 Comments
  1. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    The state doesn’t have this information? Seems like a no brainer to post this information.


  2. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    Absolutely. According to the GOP, disclosure is the solution, well, to pretty much every ill. Oh, but wait…corporations are people, so, I guess everybody would need to disclose how much tax they pay. Thanks Supremes!


  3. - cynical - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    The idea that many corporations don’t pay taxes is getting weary already. If they aren’t profitable enough to pay taxes they will eventually go out of business. If they are profitable but still not paying taxes due to loopholes, then fix the loopholes. But breaks like loss carryovers are not loopholes and serve to help a business stay afloat during business cycle fluctuations. How about some focus on the state’s spending instead of trying to blame business for lack of revenue.


  4. - John D. - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    I voted “Yes”… because I am living under the assumption that these tax records are part of the public record and subject to FOIA requests right now. This just makes them a bit more accessible and removes a few middle men.

    Then again, I’m a “Flat Tax” nut, so I my opinoin on tax issues may be a little skewed.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    @FakeJasonPlummer - @Capitolfax has a QOTD about revealing tax info on businesses. I have ONE word for that, “No Way”. #RevealingTaxReturnsIsntAPlummerThing


  6. - Soxfan - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:38 am:

    Yes, the key word is “public.” Shouldn’t all this information already be available to the public?


  7. - StateTax Geek - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    Federal and State tax returns are considered confidential for individuals and businesses. The Department of Revenue can only give the legislature aggregated information about how much taxpayers pay or claim in deductions or credits. We would be the only state to require public disclosure of individual detailed company state tax information.


  8. - Palos Park Bob - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    This information is already available to lawmakers through the Illinois Department of Revenue. That gives sufficient info to the GA to make decisions about tax reform legislation.

    If any very profitable corporations aren’t paying state taxes due to “loopholes” and special unfair individual tax breaks, why would the crooked pols who set up the system and gave the tax reductions want that publicized?

    One thing that would be very interesting, however, would be how much Madigan’s law firm is paying in corporate taxes.I’d love to see HIS books opened and full disclasure of conflicts.


  9. - bman - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    Absolutely,these should be available. That would show how much corporations, especially the large ones, slide on making a contribution to support the state.


  10. - unspun - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    The best example that I can conjure to support my yes vote is Caterpillar, which is one of the largest companies in Illinois. Its CEO has spent the better part of 2 years bemoaning the “unfriendly” business climate in Illinois, the “terrible” tax structure, etc., and has been a driver of policy while having the Governor’s ear. OK, fine. Show us what YOU pay in taxes, as a publicly traded company.


  11. - StateTax Geek - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    Also, you cannot FOIA someone’s tax returns–they are exempt from FOIA.


  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    Two things John D.

    1) It’s definitely not FOIAble, which is why the bill was introduced. Tax records are secret.

    2) Illinois already has a flat tax.


  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    ===This information is already available to lawmakers through the Illinois Department of Revenue. ===

    No, it is not.


  14. - so.... - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    I’m pretty sure a publicly-traded corporation’s income tax bill is already public information through SEC filings.


  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    ===is already public information through SEC filings. ===

    Total of all state and local taxes are in those filings. Not individual state taxes.

    C’mon, people, there’s a reason why this bill was introduced.


  16. - downstate hack - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    Yes, As public companies this information should be avaialble to stockholders and potential investors.


  17. - jake - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    Absolutely yes, for all the reasons cited by others. Presumably the information could be somehow extracted from the companies’ financial reports, which are supposed to be publicly available documents for publicly held corporations, but the reports can be structured to make that information hard to find.


  18. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    I said “No” to this proposal for now. I don’t think the demand for this information warrants a mandate yet. However I do think we should demand it from entities seeking tax relief. To me, that’s like asking for special treatment. For example, I think we were done a great disservice by not demanding CME and Sears publicly disclose their tax records during that debate. We demand it without a mandate of our politicos, I think we should adopt a similar attitude towards the private sector.


  19. - Wynn - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    Why don’t we just have the Illinois IRS compute the tax bill for Illinois companies, and then just invoice them?

    We’d have to restructure the Illinois tax code, but there would be no ability to cheat any more.


  20. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    My knee-jerk reaction was “yes,” but the more I thought about it I had to vote “no.” This information is something I definitely want to know when they come for some bailouts. However, I’m concerned that requiring all corporations to report will deter them from doing business in Illinois.


  21. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    No. When “Democratic leaders in the Illinois General Assembly” show their tax returns, I’ll show mine.

    I think that this will be just another lawsuit to the SCOTUS waiting to happen that the State will lose, and then iterate in different permutations ad infinitum (see Chicago gun laws).


  22. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    I should have said that reporting will be another factor in the decision tree for coming to or staying in Illinois. It certainly wouldn’t be the sole factor.


  23. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    = Why don’t we just have the Illinois IRS compute the tax bill for Illinois companies, and then just invoice them? =

    The last people you want deciding what is good transparency in a bill as complicated as that are the Illinois Congress and President Governor.


  24. - John D. - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    As a new resident of this state, I have to ask what kind of “Flat Tax” we have that allows 7000+ separate taxing bodies and somehow still (allegedly) has corporate tax loopholes?

    Maybe “Flat Tax” doesn’t mean the what I think it means?

    :-)


  25. - MrJM - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    ‘When “Democratic leaders in the Illinois General Assembly” show their tax returns, I’ll show mine.’

    Cincinnatus is a public corporation!

    No. Wait… he’s just off topic.

    – MrJM


  26. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    Nahhhh, it’s another here’s a kitty moment from our fearful leaders.

    We are back to parsing what is a loophole. Is a deduction for an inducement like film industry is granted to film in Illinoiis a loolphole? I assume that if the tax exemption does not apply to me, then it must be a a loophole mentality applies here.

    Perhaps a corporate level AMT is in order. Any profitable organization should be able to pay an income tax.


  27. - MrJM - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    Maybe “Flat Tax” doesn’t mean the what I think it means?

    That seems glaringly obvious.

    – MrJM


  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    Absolutely. It will not put public companies at a disadvantage; it’s just breaking down a little further what they already disclose in SEC filings.

    I’d also like to see a bill that ends the practice of secret corporate tax breaks.


  29. - so.... - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:18 am:

    For those of you who are curious, Caterpillar paid $1.72 billion worldwide in taxes in 2011.

    $922 million to non-US jurisdictions
    $752 million to the federal government
    $46 million to state and local governments

    It’s on page A-23 of their 2011 10-k (http://www.caterpillar.com/cda/files/3342293/7/2011%2010K.pdf)


  30. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    Sure, because imposing more rules and restrictions and red tape on companies is an awesome way to make Illinois more business friendly!

    Hey, let’s make sure that the forms are really really detailed, and need teams of accountants to sort out! That would be even better! Businesses would love it!

    And then we can all sit around and ponder why the unemployment rate in Illinois consistently higher than the national average. Hmmm, what could be the cause?


  31. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:26 am:

    I agree! Let’s send a message that Illinois, as the only state in the union to require this disclosure, is out on front of the rest in its anti-business climate. I think we should raise taxes again too. Right now there are only a handful of states with higher corporate income tax rates, but if we can bump ours to 10%, Illinois will be Number One!


  32. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    No. If the State wants the corporations to publish this information to receive a tax break or some other handout many of these corporations ask for, then that would be appropriate. Asking all publically traded corporations to do this does not make sense and seems like a government over-reach to me.

    Does any other state require this?


  33. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    MrJM,

    As one of the others had said, prior to my post, SCOTUS has ruled in Citizens United which I believe will be used as the underlying concept in a lawsuit against the State should they proceed in this ill-advised attempt to pass this bill. You sure I was off topic, or were you off base?


  34. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    Cincy, what does Citizens United have to do with anything? Public corporations are already required to disclose tax payments, and much more, in SEC filings.


  35. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    I would say no for most, but maybe we could just require the companies/corporations that continually try to run the state government to their advantage (ie lobbying for pension cuts and/or blackmailing the citizens of the state by threatening to move if they don’t get huge tax cuts) disclose what they are actually paying?


  36. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    No. Without the entire tax return and schedules, the number would be out of context. It’s only use would be to further fan the flames of the “tax the rich and businesses” movement. A perceived lowball number compared to annual report cash flows would give the demagogues fuel for their tedious “not paying their fair share” mantra. I think disclosure is okay, but put it in an explanatory context. High profit but low Illinois tax payment can result from significant capital expenditure in Illinois that would act as a subtraction. As this matter stands, it seems, the law will privide more gravel for the “misinformation superhighway” of government.


  37. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    No. State could publish this info. on its own, but I’d fear that it could result in more corporate tax breaks, not less. Company B CEO sees that Company A is paying much less in taxes, thinks “hey, we’re similarly sized, maybe I should get a better accountant and a lobbyist”


  38. - Johnnie F. - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Yes, especially if the company benefits from State of Illinois purchasing contracts or special tax breaks. Wouldn’t want my tax dollars returning to politicians through corporate campaign contributions, or does that rationale only apply to greedy unions?


  39. - Hickory - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    Only if you are asking for State money.


  40. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

    Corporations get liability shields from the state and special tax treatment in many cases. The public deserves to know exactly what special breaks the corporations are getting so that informed decisions can be made about whether those breaks/loopholes are really creating jobs or just lining the pockets of special interests at the expense of the public. This isn’t about scapegoating corporations, but about scapegoating crony, corrupt and inefficient capitalism that hurts the public and other businesses that don’t have the clout enough to get the special government-conferred breaks that other businesses do.


  41. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    ==No. Without the entire tax return and schedules, the number would be out of context.==

    If a corporation were concerned about context, there would be nothing to stop them from releasing that information.

    ==For those of you who are curious, Caterpillar paid $1.72 billion worldwide in taxes in 2011.

    $922 million to non-US jurisdictions
    $752 million to the federal government
    $46 million to state and local governments==

    This is a perfect example of corporations using the current requirements to keep the number out of context. The $46 million to state and local governments includes taxes paid in all states at multiple levels. The amount paid in Illinois for property tax and as corporate income tax would be very helpful to lawmakers and the public when the CEO says our state is not competitive tax-wise. Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t, but when corp execs plead for relief, it is to their benefit for us to be kept in the dark.


  42. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    Legislators trying to come to some fair understanding of the real tax climate for Illinois companies, have had the experiences more than once, of hearing CEO’s testify that state income taxes are threatening to drive them out of Illinois, only to have them (or their CFO’s)call later to apologize when they realized they actually paid none in this state.

    Separating reality from partisan political posturing on taxes, is often difficult.


  43. - Sunshine - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Be very interested to see just how much these Illinois corporations support Illinois.


  44. - 1776 - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:20 pm:

    No. I find it extremely ironic (and maybe a bit hypocritical) that Cullerton filed the amendment requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their tax information and the EXEMPTED service corporations like accounting and law firms!! Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact he is an attorney?

    Secondly, if they want this to make decisions, then why limit it to only publicly traded companies which are a very small minority of businesses? Surely the lawmakers would need to see every company’s tax information to be fully informed, right?

    Finally, start with the Assembly. We just saw an election where Plummer, Romney and others got dinged. So, let the GA show their own tax returns first.

    Taxypayers have a right of privacy.

    The next QOD should be asked: as a taxpayer, would YOU be willing to publicly disclose your own tax return.


  45. - Timugen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    With draconian cuts to schools, pensions and vital services, two thirds of corporations pay NO taxes! We ought to at least know who does and doesn’t and why!


  46. - Crime Fighter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:26 pm:

    Yes. While I agree that there could be proprietary value to this information, corporations should lose their confidential privilege. Corporations have taken aggressive adverse political positions in their attempts to micromanage the state’s financial dealings. Therefore, it would be reasonable for them to disclose their tax contributions (or lack of)to the state.


  47. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:26 pm:

    Voted no … however, I would qualify that by requiring any corporation receiving tax breaks that are not part of the normal tax code (deals like CME & Sears, for example), receiving property tax deferments such as TIF districts, or any corporation lobbying on public policy wold be required to disclose their state and local taxes so people can judge the conflict of interest, if any.

    And I don’t think you can argue that corporations are protected because they are people; after all, we have (not always followed) ethics laws on the books requiring all State employees to file similar information about any non- State salary earnings. They’re people too. Plus you are not actually limiting free speech, just requiring disclosure of any potential bias.


  48. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    CME didn’t have a problem telling the world how much they paid in state corporate income tax when they came around looking for their break.

    Out of context? Please. When the corporate world is screaming that they’re getting gored by the state, they should put up or shut up.

    I suspect we’re all smart enough to put it in “context.”


  49. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    All of you people stating that corporations should disclose should post a link to your personal returns right here.

    What’s the big deal? We have a right to know, don’t we? I mean, you are taking a position on state issue and you benefit from state services, and apparently you all think that entitles the rest of us to know what you paid.

    Take the lead, people. Show us you are not just bashing business.


  50. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 1:49 pm:

    Interesting, Word.

    I hear some individuals whine they they pay too much tax.

    Therefore, all individuals should disclose their taxes.

    What am I missing, Word?


  51. - Arthur Jensen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:01 pm:

    “You are meddling with the primal forces of nature, and I won’t have it.”


  52. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:01 pm:

    Sure, along with all public employees and even businesses conducting business with the state over a certain $value. As long as local taxes, propr taxes, etc are posted as well.


  53. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:08 pm:

    Skeeter, if an individual came in front of the GA and demanded a special tax break, I’d think they would be obligated to disclose the amount of tax they paid.

    I understand your concerns in the abstract, but I think they are just that, abstract.

    Public corporations already disclose, publicly, how much they pay in state and local taxes. I don’t see how breaking down that amount a little further to show how much of that is Illinois taxes is some unbearable burden.

    Furthermore, it would help all of us understand the extent to which the corporate tax burden is “driving business” out of Illinois, as we are reassured on a regular basis.


  54. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:14 pm:

    Word, does this proposal apply just to corps requesting special tax breaks? Because I didn’t see that limitation in there.

    Are you really claiming that individuals are not threatening to move to low tax states? I seem to have heard that sort of rumbling.

    If they do start rumbling are you ready to disclose your returns? I mean, if a few whining means that they should be disclosed, why would that only apply to corporations?

    You say that the SEC already requires it. Really? So why duplicate the efforts? Or is this something different?

    I just wish people would be more upfront. Many in Illinois are anti-business. Fine. Be that way. But be honest about it.


  55. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    because I believe in FULL disclosure and transparency in government.


  56. - mystrogrant - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    I said I voted yes because I believe in FULL disclosure and transparency in government!


  57. - Chris - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:27 pm:

    Of course we should know how much taxes corporations are paying, if for no other reason than it’s vital for planning future budgets.


  58. - Crime Fighter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==”Many in Illinois are anti-business. Fine. Be that way. But be honest about it.”==
    I haven’t seen any evidence of this “honest” allegation.
    However,I have see plenty to show that many businesses are anti-Illinois.


  59. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    Skeeter, I’m not really sure where you’re coming from at this point.

    In regards to SEC filings, public corporations disclose all state and local taxes, but not by jurisdiction. I don’t see how disclosing by jurisdiction is somehow anti-business or an unfair burden.

    As far as individuals, well, despite Justice Waite’s dictum, I think they deserve more privacy than public corporations.

    But, you can always look up your neighbor’s property tax bill, if you’re so inclined, to help you make a judgement as to whether you’re getting hosed on your bill.


  60. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:35 pm:

    So much for confidentiality in taxes that are paid. First the publicly traded corporations must disclose. Then the large privately held corporations. Then all corporations. Partnerships. . . . then . . . then . . . personal returns disclosed on line?

    Ah, that slippery slope. Sounds nice until you step onto it.


  61. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 2:52 pm:

    Where am I coming from, Word?
    I thought I was pretty clear.
    You want corporations to disclose, but you don’t want to disclose yourself.
    Why not? What’s the distinction you find so meaningful?

    You want to impose an obligation on somebody else.
    Why? Apparently, because you don’t like them (or you don’t like that they might complain). You haven’t really given any other reason. They complain. They say Illinois is bad for business. You don’t like it when they complain, so to show them, you are going to add another hassle for them. That’ll shut them up, right?

    You want to impose new rules, and then you wonder why people suggest Illinois is bad for business. More work, more details, more accounting. You are raising the cost of doing business, and you get nothing for it. You apply rules to them that you don’t apply to yourself.

    I’m moderate to liberal, but it seems that annoying businesses and raising their costs is not a great way to convince them to do business in Illinois or create jobs here.

    So that’s where I’m coming from, Word.


  62. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:05 pm:

    –You apply rules to them that you don’t apply to yourself.–

    And they benefit from rules that I can’t enjoy.

    Because I’m a citizen and they are a state-chartered corporation.

    For example, Illinois corporations can be granted tax breaks by the executive without public review or input. Not me.

    In the past, you would never find out what they were, by law. Now, supposedly, you can find out after the fact.

    I reject the notion that I or anyone that supports this is “anti-business,” whatever that means. Please expand.


  63. - Nick Kruse - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:10 pm:

    I suppose this wouldn’t be a bad law, but doesn’t the state lawmakers have something a little more important they could be using their time on?


  64. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:12 pm:

    So special tax breaks are the issue?

    That seems like an awfully easy problem to solve.

    Have the state disclose who is getting special tax breaks.

    Problem solved.

    But you are not just concerned with those special ones, are you Word? If that was your concern, then you would have backed the method that did not impose an extra obligation on most corporations.

    You say that you are not anti-business, but this sure seems to be a great way to put business in its place. How dare they mouth off, right?


  65. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:29 pm:

    Again, Skeeter, not sure what the problem is.

    Take the CAT example, from publicly disclosed SEC filings.

    ==For those of you who are curious, Caterpillar paid $1.72 billion worldwide in taxes in 2011.

    $922 million to non-US jurisdictions
    $752 million to the federal government
    $46 million to state and local governments==

    Does that disclosure make the Planet Earth “anti-business” for CAT? Might they threaten to move to Tralfamdore?

    Out of their $1,720,000,000 tax liability, would breaking down the Illinois share, among the 50 states, of their $46,000,000 in state and local taxes create some unique “anti-business” Illinois burden?

    Or, would it help citizens here understand the true corporate burden that we hear so much about?

    Not seeing the problem, brother. What’s the beef, here, anyway?


  66. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:29 pm:

    Skeeter @ 1:32 pm:

    As a State retiree, my pension is already listed on several web sites. Since IL doesn’t tax pensions, you already know I paid $0 IL state income tax on that.


  67. - Soxfan - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:30 pm:

    == Sure, along with all public employees and even businesses conducting business with the state over a certain $value. As long as local taxes, propr taxes, etc are posted as well. ==

    Keep in mind, as a public employee who pays the state’s flat tax, it’s easy to figure out how much I pay in state taxes just by going to any of the voluminous sites listing public employee salaries. But it’s not so easy to find what public corporations pay in state taxes.


  68. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:33 pm:

    Oh Word, it is not a burden? That’s awesome! Then the state should pick up the tab for the extra accounting work.

    No big deal, right? After all, it should be minimal.

    By the way, when are you going to post your returns? I must have missed them in all these posts.


  69. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:36 pm:

    “Or, would it help citizens here understand the true corporate burden that we hear so much about?”

    Gosh Word, I hear a lot of individuals complain that taxes in Illinois are too high.

    If that logic of yours is so convincing, post your returns so I can understand that burden that others are talking about.

    Plus, it won’t cost you much, so you won’t mind.


  70. - LuckyJ - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:37 pm:

    I voted yes- at what point did more information become less desirable? If companies are filing taxes anyway there would be no more red tape -just post what you paid.
    I also don’t think it’s terrible for people to know what you paid in taxes. Am I the only one who thinks its a privilege to pay taxes, because it means that you made money? That was one of the problems with Greece- everyone trying to game the system, no one wanting to pay taxes, but still wanting to pay their employees well. Well, lets all be in this together and take ownership of this great country. The first step is awareness.


  71. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:43 pm:

    ==Oh Word, it is not a burden? That’s awesome! Then the state should pick up the tab for the extra accounting work.

    No big deal, right? After all, it should be minimal.==

    Extra accounting work? I have little doubt that Cat keeps close track of those numbers. As Word has pointed out, the overall numbers are required, just not the breakouts.

    ==By the way, when are you going to post your returns? I must have missed them in all these posts. ==

    To the best of my knowledge, Word is not a publicly held corporation. (I could be wrong.) By your logic, either public corporations should not have to disclose anything or all private citizens should be required to post annual reports to the public. Your disclosure argument makes no sense.


  72. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    No. The only people who need to know what taxes are paid are the State of Illinois and directors of the corporation.

    If tax reform is your issue, that is a governmental problem, not a corporation problem.


  73. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    ==Oh Word, it is not a burden? That’s awesome! Then the state should pick up the tab for the extra accounting work.

    No big deal, right? After all, it should be minimal.==

    If only they had access to computers.

    Skeeter, you’re cracking me up. I guess we’ll disagree on this one.


  74. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    –To the best of my knowledge, Word is not a publicly held corporation.–

    I have been publicly held at times, but it was behind bars and you got a cup of coffee and a hamburger in the morning.

    More like a public menace, not a public corporation.


  75. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    Glad to hear that you can laugh, Word.

    Some of us think that with 9% unemployment and companies leaving we shouldn’t be imposing more ridiculous burdens on business.

    You think those burdens are too darn funny.

    Well, you are right on one point. We are going to have to disagree. Have a great day, Word!


  76. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===you got a cup of coffee and a hamburger in the morning===

    Sounds first class. I got a baloney sandwich and a half-pint of milk.

    And let’s not get too worked up about this. My guess is this is Cullerton’s way of sending a message to someone, an important message maybe, but until he gets it over to the House, this isn’t enough to get me excited.

    I voted meh. Magic 8-Ball says “Ask again later.”


  77. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 4:26 pm:

    The argument that legislators need to know what corporations pay would work best if the details of deductions, breaks, etc were public. But that level of detail would give competitors too much information. Just knowing the net tax wouldn’t help with legislation to reform corporate taxes.


  78. - western illinois - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 6:08 pm:

    Yes but does it include Federal Taxes? I bet that wont hold up but state tax should.
    These are publically held corporations and should have to disclose a lot more than they do. Their secreacy does hurt them It has run individiuals from teh stock market


  79. - Peggy So-IL - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 6:35 pm:

    No. I don’t understand what purpose this intends to serve. The state officials who run DoR know what each company pays. Why the desire to vilify them publicly? If you don’t like that a company’s using some loophole to reduce its tax burden, fix the loophole. Don’t target and demonize individual companies for following (or taking advantage of) the law. This is dangerous territory.


  80. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 6:48 pm:

    –Why the desire to vilify them publicly?–

    Why presume they’d be vilified?

    Maybe, as we’ve been told over and over again, they’re suffering greatly from incredibly high state corporate income taxes. Driving them crazy, all over to Wisconsin and Indiana.

    Why not share that sad story with the citizens?


  81. - evil t - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 8:20 pm:

    They are gonna use it as a excuse to raise corporate taxes, to get support to get a “Fair Share” out of companies. And we will watch them continue to invest in other states.


  82. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 8:27 pm:

    ==They are gonna use it as a excuse to raise corporate taxes, to get support to get a “Fair Share” out of companies.==

    Or not. Difficult to say if you don’t know what they are paying. And, that’s the point of a little disclosure. Companies are constantly threatening to leave for another state when they have a better deal here. They bluff the legislatures in each state into giving them sweeter and sweeter deals. The race to the bottom has hurt a lot of states, and it’s not like those companies don’t use state services.


  83. - Southern Peggy - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 8:33 pm:

    WS–We can look at the amount paid in aggregate as compared to aggregate income reported by co’s in IL and make broad judgments without targeting individual companies. I can’t recall the legal term, but laws that are intended to punish/target a specific company are not usually considered constitutional.

    What other reason could there be but vilification and attack?


  84. - Carter - Wednesday, Nov 28, 12 @ 1:07 pm:

    I’m not necessarily for raising the corporate tax rate, but transparency is the way to make sure all corporations pay equal amounts of taxes. This will cut down on rent-seeking and the success of special interest lobbying… something out state (and our country) sorely needs.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* *** UPDATED 1x *** Quinn onboard; Rauner latches onto term limits proposal
* Because Illinois is a real battleground state
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