Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker announces delay of tax filing deadline to July 15 - Three programs for small businesses - Praises stimulus bill - Thanks workers - Treasurer initiates loan program, addresses bill backlog - Hotel industry expects 120,000 layoffs in coming weeks - Pritzker admits IDES website is not functioning properly
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Pritzker announces delay of tax filing deadline to July 15 - Three programs for small businesses - Praises stimulus bill - Thanks workers - Treasurer initiates loan program, addresses bill backlog - Hotel industry expects 120,000 layoffs in coming weeks - Pritzker admits IDES website is not functioning properly

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020

* Gov. Pritzker…

In addition to those measures, today I am proud to announce an important new measure to support our residents and most small businesses, and to soften the immediate economic impact of this moment. Illinois will delay our tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, aligning our tax day with the federal government’s and giving our millions of taxpayers three additional months to file their individual returns refunds will continue to be distributed in a timely fashion.

Remember I’m using Otter for transcription so typos are inevitable.

* More assistance…

By Friday, our small businesses will be eligible for a share of $90 million in state emergency assistance through three new programs.

First, all of our small businesses outside of Chicago, that’s businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and under $3 million in 2019 revenue in every industry are eligible for our new $60 million dollar Illinois small business emergency loan fund, allowing up to $50,000 loans with five year low interest. Repayment terms require loan payments won’t begin for six months, offering crucial time for business owners to begin recovering from the economic impact of COBID 19. DCEO, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in partnership with our Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has established a loan loss reserve of $20 million to back up the financing provided by our state charter banks. I want to thank the Illinois Bankers Association and the community bankers Alliance for their partnership in launching this program […]

Our second Small Business program also focuses on our suburban and downstate communities, specifically on areas with low to moderate income populations. We’re launching a $20 million downstate small business stabilization program, which will provide emergency grants of up to $25,000. These are grants of $25,000 to small businesses that are being served by Office of Community Development.

And lastly, our hospitality businesses have experienced some of the most significant hardships during this crisis. To help address the significant challenges of our bars and restaurants in small hotel companies, DCEO retooled existing funds to offer support to our state’s hospitality industry through this crisis. Our new hospitality emergency grant program will offer $14 million to help hotels bars and restaurants support their payroll and rent, as well as job training and technology for operations like pickup and delivery, which for now have become central to many restaurants staying open.

* More…

I’ve asked each of those federal institutions to offer all borrowers multi-month forbearance, to reduce the strains of this period and offer millions of Americans financial relief. They’ve offered this not only to Illinoisans now, but to qualified mortgage holders nationwide, please contact your mortgage servicer or Fannie Mae directly for more information. On a similar note we’ve sent letters to the three national credit bureaus, asking them not to punish people’s credit ratings for the instabilities of our time.

* Comptroller Mendoza is caring for an ill mother and couldn’t be at the event, but she put out this release…

Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that Illinois will extend the deadline for state income tax filing:

“While extending the state’s tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020, creates some needed relief for taxpayers, it also results in a significant delay in revenue for the state in the short term. Traditionally, April is the state’s best revenue month. The receipts that come in from Illinois taxpayers in April allow us to address bills from low-revenue-producing months such as February.

“In addition to the short-term revenue delay, given the COVID-19 crisis and necessary emergency response, we, like the rest of the country, can anticipate a future loss in revenue from lower payroll and sales tax receipts this fiscal year. It is too early to measure the financial impact.

“Postponing the state tax filing deadline will be a challenge to the state and our office’s cash-management duties, but it is a responsibility we are prepared to meet. Over the last three years, the Illinois Office of Comptroller has proven itself to be well-experienced in managing fiscal crises, and we are prepared for the demanding times ahead.

“We will continue to make critical payments for debt service, state payrolls, K-12 schools, our social and human service providers, and required pension payments. We will prioritize state payments to our hospitals, doctors and everyday heroes on the front lines fighting COVID-19.

“I appreciate Governor Pritzker’s incredible leadership through this ordeal. It’s been an honor to work with him and Treasurer Frerichs, and we will continue to work together, utilizing every budget and statutory tool available to us to get Illinois through this crisis, this budget year and into the next.”

* The governor went on to praise the Senate’s stimulus bill and then said…

Finally, I just want to say that I know that there are people all across our state that are making real sacrifices by adhering to our stay at home order, which is in its fourth day. And I know that, for those of you able to remain home. It feels like you’ve been there forever.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you, the sacrifices that you are saving lives. Truly. I’ve also said a lot about the amazing work that our doctors and nurses and our first responders are doing, taking a risk every day going to work, to protect us. But I also want to recognize our grocery store workers our custodians and our Metro and Pace and CTA workers. The factory workers who are producing essential medical equipment and the food on the grocery shelves and the warehouse workers and truck drivers who make sure that our goods get to their destination. They are some of the unsung heroes in this fight. Those who do the work behind the scenes to keep this state safely moving forward.

* IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike…

Right now, we know of the counties [where the virus was found], but we know that the number of counties will grow as well. Continue to stay home and continue to practice social distancing. Protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your entire community by following the same instructions you’ve been hearing every day. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap. Cover your coughs. Please stay home. Clean frequently touched services. Together, we are protecting all of Illinois and decreasing the number of fatalities from this extraordinary event.

* Treasurer Michael Frerichs…

Our state investment portfolio is about $14 billion, about the same amount it was late last year when news of the virus began emerging. The amount is the same because state law prohibits investing any portion of the $14 billion state portfolio in the stock market. […]

The State Treasurer’s Office has launched a bridge loan program to help them push through these uncertain times. We have made 250 million dollars available to banks and credit unions across our state, and it historically low interest rate of almost zero. We agreed to deposit a quarter of a billion dollars from the state’s portfolio and increments of one or $5 million with financial institutions across the state. In turn, they have agreed to turn around and use the money to help small businesses and nonprofits, pay rent purchase supplies, and to make payroll. Our goal is simple. We understand businesses slowed. We do not want businesses to close forever. We want them to be able to make payroll and pay their own bills is easier to ramp up a business that is struggling than a business that has shuttered.

On a smaller scale, last week my team issued emergency rules for our unclaimed property division. We raised the ceiling for our Fast Track program from $500 to $2,000. As a result, we’ve been able to push out nearly $3 million in additional unclaimed property to more than 3000 people across our state in just the last week.

Finally, we have rolled over $200 million in investment notes or loans [to help] the state comptroller pay medical bills. My office can invest up to $2 billion in the state of Illinois bill backlog at a reduced market based rate, as opposed to nine or 12% late payment interest rate penalty. During this time of need, this authority not only saves money, it gets more cash out the door to our healthcare providers. We are continuing our discussions with the Comptroller and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget about ways to support the state’s cash flow using legal tools we already have.

* President of the Hotel Lodging Association Michael Jacobson…

The damage is worse than the impacts of 911 and the 2008 recession combined. Unfortunately, with that level of decline, there’s a human impact when it comes to the 10s of thousands of layoffs that we’ve seen in our industry in just the past several days. We expect that number to hit more than 120,000 total layoffs in the coming weeks. Small businesses that operate our hotels are hurting and deciding every day whether or not to close their hotels altogether. Our employees are hurting and hoping that they can just keep their job.

That is why we commend the governor for announcing this new fund dedicated to providing grants to small hotel owners in an effort to retain as many staff as possible. These relief funds will provide critical resources to hoteliers to avoid as many layoffs as possible at their property.

* OK, on to questions for the governor. Will program spending have to be put off because of the tax filing delay…

The answer is nothing that is a vital service or critical service for people across the state will be put off. In fact they’ve been significantly enhanced I would say across the board. Making sure that we’re providing more resources for those who are homeless, making sure that we’re providing food for people who are you know kids in particular but families where the kids aren’t able to go to school now and so they need meals during the day and frankly, some of them are getting breakfast and lunch at schools who are providing meals across the state and funding for that. So there’s a lot that’s going on and I would say nobody should be suffering from a lack of service.

Director Ezike said the state checks PPE to make sure it’s still usable after a question about how other states are reporting the federal government is delivering expired PPE equipment.

* People are still having trouble accessing IDES’ online unemployment system. The governor said earlier this week that the problem was fixed and it’s obviously not. The governor said the reporter was 100 percent right…

As I’ve said this is an unprecedented number of people who are applying same time, and our DoIT, our department of innovation, technology, our state CIO, have been on this every day they’re trying very hard to expand availability they are expanding the availability. But it is true that we remain overloaded. People are going to have to be patient at least for now. Over the course of this week those changes are coming online. I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be easy for everybody who gets there, especially if people show up all at the same time during work hours for example. But you can go online, any time of day or night. And so I would suggest to people that perhaps finding off hours to go online to make that filing will be much easier for you and easier on the system. So, you know, hang with us here we’re going to make changes that are making it better. But it is true, it’s not working the way that I want it to either.

* Do we know how much Illinois and local governments in the state will get from the congressional stimulus bill…

We don’t yet know. I mean let me add to everybody that that bill hasn’t actually passed. There was a negotiation, there’s an agreement. We believe that it will pass the Senate and the House and get signed by the president but we don’t exactly know. The bill is being read and evaluated by really everybody around the country, but particularly by our federal director and our federal representatives to determine what we might get in the state. A lot of this is population based I should say. And so, you know, Illinois being the sixth populous state in the United States and allows us to get a larger percentage than many other states.

* How are all of you holding up in this? Yesterday it sounded like the situation was wearing on some of you…

Not sure which of us they’re talking about, um, we’re all holding up just fine thank you for whoever gave that question. Who cares about everybody who’s standing here and also my staff who are working long hours. We all are, but my staff especially. I’m so grateful to them because really they’re getting here early in the morning, they’re here late late at night, they’re solving problems for people all across the state and giving of themselves in ways that I don’t think anybody imagined that they would need to when they went into public service. So I’m grateful to them and everybody seems to be doing just fine. We’re also making sure that they’re healthy, giving them, you know room to stay at home. For many of them, but we’ve got some core staff we’re here just all the time. Those who are at home I might end are working non stop, nevertheless, so I’m grateful to them as well.

* Director Ezike…

It is, it is hard. I’m a doctor, I’m a mother and I just buried my father last month. And so when I think about people who can’t do what I did for my father last month I feel it very real as to what people are going through in the sacrifices that they’re making I think for, for all of us.

* Pritzker…

I’ll just add that for all of us I think I have a friend who I spoke with today who’s whose wife and children, all have fevers.

All are experiencing some symptoms they’re staying at home. They’re on their way I hope to recovery. But, as you can imagine my friend’s concern for his family was great. So, you know, all of us, I think, are aware of how serious this situation is and are touched by somebody, somebody at work, somebody at home, somebody in your life, no doubt, you know, that has contracted this or is affected by it. So I appreciate the concern by whoever asked that question.

* There’s been a fair amount of back and forth with the White House over PPE. Are you concerned that President Trump will play politics and not send shipments to Illinois…

I would hope not. I really would hope not, I, you know, I’m talking I’m working with the professionals at the Army Corps of Engineers. I spoke with the Secretary of the Army yesterday, the Secretary of Defense. So many people are working hard to help us address the challenges that we have as a result of COVID 19. And so, you know, my expectation is that people in the federal government level one to do the right thing.

So, we’re continuing to protect the people of the state of Illinois and I’m going to do whatever it takes, frankly, to get that job done. And sometimes, when I have to be critical in order to get something done I’m going to be doing that. You’ll hear me do that, but I am not somebody who normally, you know, likes to, take on a confrontation if I don’t need to. But I will, and especially on something this serious.

* Is it possible to get PPE from China now?…

There is a big challenge. I mean you know it’s the relationship between President Trump and the Chinese government has not been good.

And so there’s actually been over the course of this process, over the last few weeks there are challenges getting things out of China.

And as you know, that’s where a lot of PPE is manufactured, so yeah we’re overcoming those challenges wherever we need to and acquiring PPE really from anywhere that we can. T\here are manufacturers here in the United States and as you heard me the other day, there are manufacturers here in the state of Illinois that we’re acquiring from so you know it’s it’s coming in, it’s not as fast as I would like. I’d rather the federal government had taken this over and doing it to themselves for everybody, but you know we’re getting the job done.

-30-

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments »
  1. - Buford - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:36 pm:

    Does this include if taxpayers owe money? Or are they still required to pay April 15


  2. - Leatherneck - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    What about renters?


  3. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    fingers crossed the entertainment industry qualifies. plenty of out of work dancers, musicians, actors, companies.


  4. - Abdon - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    @Buford: The deadline is moved back to July 15 for filing and payments to the state. Refunds will continue going out in the meantime to taxpayers who file now.


  5. - Chicago Panda - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:56 pm:

    Illinois already has automatic extension so I assume he means payment & filing and not just filing.


  6. - Zelda - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 3:11 pm:

    It’s on the IDOR website - the extension applies to filing and payment.


  7. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    Is it possible to get PPE from china?

    When asked point blank this morn, the CEO of 3m, when questioned about obtaining N95 respirators made in China, went on and on about local this and local that, but never answered the question if China turned down the request.


  8. - 46th Ward - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    Thank you for your reporting Rich. I’ve come to depend on your daily recaps to keep track of all the new information coming out. Hope you are staying well.


  9. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 4:00 pm:

    I am not as worried about Trump playing games with critical supplies, as I am with him making promises he just cannot keep.

    We need hundreds of thousands of tests, and we need them now.


  10. - Annonin - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    Capt Fax and others who pay estimated taxes will be saddened to know they will still need to pay 2021 estimated income tax on time. That’s April 15 and July 15. That’s another calculations based on income from 2020 so not much relief.


  11. - "Old Timer Dem" - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 4:33 pm:

    Estimated taxes were due April 15th and June 15th prior to this year.I think the aforementioned July 15th date may be incorrect. Not sure why Governor Pritzker had to even think about delaying 2019 State filing to July 15th. No one does their state taxes before their Federal taxes. Obviously, Governor Pritzker doesn’t know too much about tax prep.


  12. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 4:35 pm:

    maybe i’m missing it, but small business in Chicago?


  13. - Some Guy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 5:09 pm:

    Old Timer– He’s speaking to the vast majority of individuals who file in arrears. You’re focusing on a subset of filers required to pay estimated payments for current year.

    ==”Not sure why Governor Pritzker had to even think about delaying 2019 State filing to July 15th”
    Not sure if anyone informed you but we have a bit of a cash issue on our hands. 20% of IIT (largest source of state revenue) receipts are realized upon filing. A 3 month extension means a major cash hit to the state. Also, don’t conflate “no one does” with “no one can”.


  14. - Funtimes - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 8:25 am:

    Let me know when the IDES website works well; or any of the IDOR websites for that matter. Employers who try to submit their payments online have long struggled with poorly functioning separate systems.


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