Roskam blasts Governor's Tax Plan
Republican Congressman Peter Roskam came out against Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's business tax plan Wednesday, saying it would lead to companies locating outside Illinois.
"I think it's an awful idea," the Wheaton lawmaker told a crowd of about 75 at a Greater O'Hare Association of Industry and Commerce luncheon in Elk Grove Village.
Blagojevich wants the General Assembly to impose a gross receipts tax on the sale of goods and services by Illinois businesses to pay for a major expansion of state-subsidized health care and to give schools more money.
The recently revised plan would result in a $7.6 billion tax increase by far the largest in Illinois history but also provide $1 billion in targeted property tax relief.
As proposed, Blagojevich's tax would apply to companies essentially with sales of $2 million or more per year. Roskam said this would hurt businesses with high volume of sales but low profit margins paper manufacturers, for example.
Roskam said he suspects if the business tax becomes law, neighboring states would put up signs inviting companies to cross the border for lower taxes. Roskam, a state senator until last year, suggested Blagojevich live within the state's means instead of proposing massive new government spending.
A Blagojevich spokeswoman said Roskam is being misled by big business groups and the governor's plan is about tax fairness.
"Middle-class families that struggle to afford their health-care premiums and the 1.4 million uninsured adults in our state shouldn't have to wait a day longer for the care they need if we can find a way to pay for it," spokeswoman Becky Carroll said.
The governor, who was heckled in Quincy on Tuesday by people opposed to the tax increase, pushed his plan in Alton near St. Louis Wednesday.
Roskam also told the crowd he won't support a Democratic federal budget if President Bush's tax cuts aren't renewed and he probably wouldn't vote to renew the No Child Left Behind education reform act as proposed.