Known smartypants George Will took the state of Illinois to task over the weekend for their less-than friendly tax policy. He tells an anecdote of Tim Storm, a business owner that relocated his company to Beloit, Wisconsin from Rockton, Illinois which is a whopping five miles away. This was, at least in part, due to the state’s recently enacted “Amazon tax”:
Illinois, comprehensively misgoverned and ravenous for revenue, has enacted what has come to be called an “Amazon tax.” It requires Amazon and other online retailers to collect the state’s sales tax. Amazon and many other retailers responded by severing their connections with their Illinois affiliates.
Not only is GW all over Illinois’s decision to go after online retailers for sales tax, he also reminds everyone that the pols in the Land of Lincoln did a number on individual and corporate income tax rates:
In January, a lame-duck session of Illinois’ legislature — including 18 Democrats who were defeated in November — raised the personal income tax 67 percent and the corporate tax almost 50 percent. This and the increase — from 3 percent to 5 percent — in the tax on small businesses make Illinois, as the Wall Street Journal says, “one of the most expensive places in the world to conduct business.”
So as you can see, Illinois is on the ropes for its fiscal (mis)steps. Of course, Will isn’t the first person to call out the state for being a little tax happy, as Americans for Tax Reform was all over Illinois for this back in January. Of course, ATR managed to criticize the policy in a snarky Swede fashion as opposed to a bowtie-wearing polymathic diatribe. For obvious reasons, we’re partial to the former.