Cullerton tax transparency plan squeaks through Illinois Senate

November 28, 2012

The Associated Press and Tony Arnold

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —Illinois Senate President John Cullerton's plan to require corporations' income tax bills to be made public has barely won approval.

The Senate voted 30-27 Wednesday to okay a proposal Cullerton says would help lawmakers plan tax policy.

Cullerton says it’s hard to know how much in taxes companies like Sears or CME Group pay. So the Democrat says the proposal to make publicly traded companies share how much they pay in state taxes will create a more fair corporate tax system.

He says two-thirds of businesses doing work in Illinois pay no corporate income tax.

"It’s not a gotcha to the business community," Cullerton said from the floor of the Senate Wednesday. "It’s actually that (it) helps us have a better tax structure."

Republican State Sen. Chris Lauzen said it’s a punishing bill that’s anti-business and anti-employment, and it could drive companies away from the state.

"There are other states that are alternatives for employers to go to," Lauzen said.

Cullerton amended the bill to prevent posting of federally prohibited tax information.

Business leaders say the legislation unfairly targets some businesses.

The bill moves to the House.