The House Revenue Committee met Feb. 11 and assigned several bills to subcommittee. One of those is HB 4300, the Rep. Jack Franks bill that would close loopholes, which means an effective tax increase on businesses and individuals, with a return to a three-factor formula for income tax apportionment from the current single sales factor apportionment.
HB 4354 would redefine manufacturing to include graphic arts production and include “production-related property” formerly included in the manufacturers’ purchase credit as exempt machinery and equipment. It was sent to a subcommittee, and is basically similar to the above.
HB 5563, by Rep. Ann Williams, would amend the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act provision concerning certificates of registration, to remove a requirement that publicly traded corporations must provide the last four digits of the social security numbers of their CFO, COO, and any other officer or employee with responsibility for preparing tax returns.
HB 5634, filed by Rep. Keith Wheeler, extends the Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment Exemption to production related tangible personal property.
HB 5659, also filed by Rep. Wheeler, would amend the Illinois Income Tax Act to restore the research and development credit and provides that the credit applies on a permanent basis. The bill extends the credit carry forward period to 20 years from the current five years. The legislation increases the amount of the credit by providing that the increase in qualifying expenditures shall be an increase over 50% (instead of 100%) of the average of the qualifying expenditures for each year in the base period.
HB 5716, by Rep. Michael Zalewski, would revive the graphic arts machinery and equipment exemption and provides that the exemption applies for all periods on and after Sept. 1, 2004. The bill also provides that the graphic arts exemption includes production-related tangible personal property beginning on July 1, 2014; that the manufacturing and assembly exemption includes production related tangible personal property; and that the graphic arts exemption and the manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption are each exempt from the Acts’ automatic sunset provisions.
The Senate Revenue Committee has scheduled a Feb. 17 hearing on SB 2148 sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson, the committee Chairperson. That bill would amend the Illinois Income Tax Act to require an addback of the federal Domestic Production Activities Deduction, would eliminate the foreign dividend subtraction, and would eliminate the unitary non-combination rule.
SB 2511, sponsored by Sen. Chris Nybo, would amend the Illinois Income Tax Act to eliminate the “throwback” rule.
Employment Law Bills
HB 4999, filed by Rep. Will Guzzardi and known as the Workplace Privacy in Social Media bill, amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act and would make it unlawful for an employer or prospective employer to request or require an employee or applicant to authenticate or access a personal online account in the presence of the employer, to request or require that an employee or applicant invite the employer to join a group affiliated with any personal online account of the employee or applicant, or join an online account established by the employer. It prohibits retaliation against an employee or applicant.
HB 5738, carried by Rep. John Cabello, creates the Bone Marrow and Organ Donor Leave Protection Act and requires employers with 51 or more employees to permit employees to take leave for purposes of donating organs or bone marrow and prohibits retaliation for taking leave. It allows 30 days for organ donation and five days leave for bone marrow donation.
HB 5759, sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman, would amend the Prevailing Wage Act to require public bodies to specify in the call for bids that each bidder be a responsible bidder and requires contractors and subcontractors to report the hours worked by minorities and females. It also requires IDOT, CDB, and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to report that information to lawmakers.
HB 6162, filed by Rep. Andrew Skoog, creates the Employee Sick Leave Act to allow employees to use personal sick leave benefits provided by the employer for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent, for reasonable periods of time as the employee’s attendance may be necessary, on the same terms upon which the employee is able to use sick leave benefits for the employee’s own illness or injury.
HR 77, sponsored by Rep. La Shawn Ford, passed unanimously out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. Ford believes it would be a pro-business policy move to eliminate the first quarter cash crunch of small and mid-market businesses paying unemployment taxes by allowing for quarterly payments based upon the accrued obligations. There is concern about how this would be accomplished without violating the bond covenants for the approximately $500 million in unemployment insurance bonds yet outstanding.
HB 580, sponsored by Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch, passed the House Labor and Commerce Committee 16-7-1. This bill revisits a previous attempt by the legislature to empower an arbitrator to settle negotiation disputes between public sector unions and the governor.