2 thoughts on “Taxes in Neighboring States”

  1. Nothing in this article really shows a comparison as to the quality of services between the states. Nor does it take into account the degree of hassle businesses face in dealing with Illinois administrative agencies.

    Wisconsin taxes are high, but so is the quality of most of the governmental services. Roads and schools tend to be better there than they are here. Business firms of my acquaintance tell me that it is far easier to acquire necessary environmental permits in Iowa than it is in Illinois, and the fees for workers comp and unemployment were much more reasonable, though I was told this was about 5 years ago. I doubt that the fundamental relationship has changed much in that time.

    What is really going to affect businesses and non-profits in Illinois is the ill advised, and likely unconstitutional attempt to charge sales taxes on interstate commerce coming into Illinois. There are plenty of organizations and businesses who benefited from association with firms like Amazon.com who are now dropped from participating in mutually beneficial arrangements.

    A massive tax increase like this might have been more palatable had any meaningful cuts in spending taken place first. As it is, the can has merely been kicked down the road a bit without dealing with any of the systemic problems like too much debt.

  2. You are right. The article is merely a reaction to the incorrect information flying around about tax rates without regard for the levels of services and bureaucracies involved. A bang-for-the-buck analysis would be even more helpful and I will be on the lookout for one.

    I also don’t disagree with you about the tax increase, although I think I am probably much more ambivalent. It seems to me that it is a logical emergency step to stabilize the environment and, since borrowing is still inevitable at this point, to try for a more favorable bond rating for the meantime. Of course, real reforms that fix the structural deficit must follow. Only time will tell whether the will and know-how are there, or we resume the slow-mo train wreck.

    As to the sales tax question, Amazon et al’s position is untenable for the long haul. Having local affiliates clearly meets the “physical presence” requirement and Illinois is only one of a number of states wanting to collect its fair share of $160 billion in annual Internet sales.

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