Recapping an ‘Extraordinarily Productive’ Legislative Session

A massive gambling expansion, a new state tax on rental parking, and a higher tax on gasoline and cigarettes, plus changes to the tax code intended to bring more money to state coffers while helping businesses and giving a break to people who are late paying their taxes – it’s all part of a package state legislators approved this past weekend.

Some of the details are below.

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Budget bills:

Illinois’ new fiscal year begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2020. The $40 billion budget for fiscal year 2020 is broken into several pieces:

• Illinois’ operating budget for fiscal year 2020: SB262

• The Budget Implementation Act, or BIMP, which outlines spending: SB1814

• Revenue to support that operating spending plan in SB689

Highlights include:

• A tax amnesty program, that’s expected to bring in $175 million to state coffers by getting delinquent taxpayers to pay up, with the incentive of a grace period that waives penalties
• A new tax assessment on Managed Care Organizations (medical management clearinghouses for low-income residents on Medicaid)
• Changes to state tax code (some of these are in SB690) including initiatives sought by the business community like:

• Requiring internet marketplaces like Amazon to collect and remit the 6.25% Illinois Use Tax
• Requiring remote internet sellers to collect and remit the Illinois Retailers’ Occupation Tax that are in effect wherever the product is shipped to
• Phasing out the Corporate Franchise Tax
• Extends a tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment
• A tax incentive for data centers


The $45 billion multiyear public works program, branded “Rebuild Illinois” by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is also broken into parts.

• Authorization for the state to bond (finance debt) to help fund construction: HB142

• An outline of the infrastructure Illinois will invest in, throughout the state: HB62

• To pay for road, bridge and mass transit upgrades, lawmakers approved a set of new taxes and fees, in HB1939 including:

• Doubling the state tax on gasoline, from 19 to 38 cents a gallon
• Increasing the vehicle registration fee for most cars by $50, to $148
• Increasing the vehicle registration fee for electric cars by another $100, to $248

• To pay for repairs and construction to “vertical” structures like clinics, nature centers, schools and university buildings, lawmakers approved other new taxes and gas in SB690 including:

• Raising the state tax on cigarettes by $1; the $2.98 state sales tax on cigarettes does not include any local taxes or fees on tobacco products
• Imposing a 15% wholesale tax on electronic cigarettes
• Creating a new state tax on rental parking, at 6% of the purchase price for parking spaces paid for on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, and 9% of the purchase price for parking space paid for on a monthly or annual basis

• A massive expansion of gambling is also part of SB690, with revenues intended to support infrastructure. Gamblers will have a lot of options to play slot machines or try their luck at poker, such as at:

• A mega casino in Chicago
• Gambling machines at O’Hare and Midway airports
• Illinois’ horse racetracks like Arlington and Hawthorne, which will become combination “racinos”; a new Standardbred horse track is authorized for an undetermined location in the south suburbs
• New casinos in Waukegan, the south suburbs, Danville in east central Illinois, Rockford and the Walker’s Bluff vacation development in southern Illinois
• Extra terminals/machines at video gaming parlors, restaurants, bars and other establishments with video gaming
• Sports books at or near stadiums, like Soldier, Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate fields
• Online sports betting applications (though initially, anyone who wants to be part of that has to sign up for the web apps in person at an established casino)

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky

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