The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has added its support to the growing bi-partisan coalition that is working to improve the business climate in Illinois. Below are four of the latest issues that the Chamber is addressing:
Archive for January, 2014
DuPage Economic Development Committee to Host Public Hearing Feb. 4 about Graduated Income Tax ProposalFriday, January 31st, 2014
Wheaton … The DuPage County Economic Development Committee will host a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 4, to gather the facts about the graduated income tax proposal in Springfield.
Tonia Khouri, chairwoman of the Economic Development Committee, believes the proposed graduated income tax would have a direct impact on DuPage County’s economic development.
“The Economic Development Committee’s mission is to ensure DuPage County maintains a business-friendly environment in order to grow our local economy. While the graduated income tax proposal is a state issue, it will have a significant impact on our residents and small business owners. It is extremely important that we learn the facts regarding this issue,” said Khouri.
The Committee has already heard testimony on the subject from Calamos Investments Chief Financial Officer Nimish Bhatt and State Representative Ron Sandack.
The final hearing, which is open to the public, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the DuPage County, JTK Administration Building’s County Board Room, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. The featured presenters include Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and Doug Whitley, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
The proposed constitutional amendments, HJRCA 33 and SJRCA 40, which have been introduced in the Illinois House and Senate, would change the state’s income tax from a flat or single rate to a graduated scale. A three-fifths supermajority from each chamber would be needed for a referendum to be put on the November 2014 ballot.
The Illinois Constitution currently calls for a flat tax rate that applies to everyone, regardless of income. Two years ago, the Illinois General Assembly increased the state’s personal income tax rates on individuals and corporations. At the time, the rates were temporarily increased from 3 to 5 percent for individuals and from 5 to7 percent for corporations. However, those rates are set to be reduced to 3.85 percent for individuals and 5.25 percent for corporations in 2015.
In the meantime, Khouri believes the County should weigh in on the issue as it would impact economic development in not only DuPage communities, but also around the entire state.
“With 33,000 private businesses that employ 567,000 people, DuPage County is an economic engine for the State of Illinois. We owe it not only to the business owners, but to all of the people employed by those businesses to ensure we maintain a strong business climate in DuPage County,” said Khouri.
It is estimated that there are 17,000 S Corporations in DuPage County, which would be affected by the change in the income tax structure as the businesses’ profits and losses pass through the owners’ personal tax return.
From the Illinois Chamber:
In a surprise move this morning, House Speaker Michael Madigan filed HB 4479, legislation to cut the corporate income tax in half from 7% to 3.5%.
According to the press released issued from his office this morning, it will save Illinois businesses $500 to $700 million in Fiscal Year 2014 and up to $1.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015.
“This is a very welcome departure from the tax discussion we are used to at the Statehouse,” writes the Illinois Chamber. “We praise the Speaker’s move and urge him to also advance proposals to help small and medium sized employers.”
Too early to tell how much traction the proposal will receive or if there will be subsequent tax proposals that will offset the positive nature of this proposal, the Illinois Chamber concludes.
Click HERE for text of HB 4479.
Click HERE for text of the press release.
—John Rowe, Sam Scott, Doug Whitley, Co-Chairs, IBIC
Last year, every sector of Illinois’ economy — including technology, hospitality, manufacturing, agriculture, education, health care, engineering, energy, finance and real estate — spoke in one voice through the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition to call on Congress to pass common-sense immigration reform that empowers Illinois’ economic competitiveness.
The U.S. Senate passed an immigration bill with the support of our own Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk. It provides more money for border security, allows immigrants already here to work, expands visa programs and provides an arduous 13-year path to citizenship. Hardly a free ride.
The House will act in its own way as it should, but it needs to act this year. Speaker John Boehner’s recent comments on releasing his immigration blueprint this month, hiring Rebecca Tallent — a longtime immigration adviser to Sen. John McCain — and Mr. Boehner’s public rebuke of tea party-backed opposition all indicate some serious commitment to getting immigration reform done this year.
As business leaders in Illinois, we welcome this move. Illinois is facing tough economic times. With an unemployment rate nearly 2 percent higher than the national average, common-sense immigration reform can help to jump-start our economy and get the state on the path to economic competitiveness.
According to the Bipartisan Policy Center report, immigration reform would create 105,923 jobs in Illinois and boost the state’s economic output by $1.8 billion. Nationally, it would bolster the country’s economic growth by 4.8 percent over the next 20 years and reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion.
More than three out of four patents produced by top American universities in 2011 had an immigrant inventor, including 90 percent of patents from the University of Illinois, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. Our state’s 31,000 foreign students contributed $869 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees and living expenses in 2009-10. This is talent America needs to nurture and retain, not expel.
Likewise, undocumented immigrants in Illinois, roughly 5.6 percent of the state’s workforce, contributed $499.2 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
The need for common-sense immigration reform not only is a question of economic necessity, it is a question of American values of creating opportunity for oneself and others through hard work, no matter one’s country of origin.
We must find a way to admit both high- and lower-skilled working people we need to drive economic growth. We need doctors, engineers, nurses and scientists. We need agricultural workers and home care workers.
To echo U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue, business leaders representing large corporations and small businesses across Illinois also will do whatever it takes to put immigration reform across the finish line in 2014.
We don’t want Democrats playing games. We don’t want Republicans playing games. We want solutions.
John Rowe is chairman emeritus of Exelon Corp. in Chicago. Samuel C. Scott III is former CEO of Corn Products International Inc. in Westchester and chairman of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program. Doug L. Whitley is president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. All three are co-chairs of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.
Illinois Business Immigration Coalition
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has added its support to the growing bi-partisan coalition that is working to place an independent redistricting ballot measure on the 2014 general election ballot.
This is an important first step in making our state work better for the citizens and does a lot to shed light on the politicized process of drawing state legislative maps.
As you might imagine, the campaign to get this on the ballot will not be an easy one. The first challenge is to gather over 300,000 signatures so that it can qualify. To get involved in the important work of the Yes for Independent Maps campaign, you can sign-up to circulate petitions now. The campaign will send you petitions and instructions within 24 hours. Will you get your friends, family and neighbors to sign to help get us toward the goal? Make a donation right now. Any amount will help and all amounts are needed.
Together we can make sure this issue appears before voters in 2014. Get involved today so we can put voters back in charge.
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that sales for its upcoming community map are now underway. The 5,000 maps are on target to print this summer, and will be distributed in and around the Chamber service area.
The full-color, glossy community map will feature a street-level community map showing local points of interest — schools, parks, water features, landmarks, tourist attractions, etc. — and county or regional map(s) showing primary and secondary roads and major points of interest. Depending on space, the community map may also include a concise community profile, which highlights local events; important phone numbers; listings for community organizations, shops and restaurants, entertainment and cultural venues; and information about the Chamber of Commerce to create a useful resource guide for current residents and businesses, as well as a promotional piece for those considering relocation.
Advertising in the Aurora community map has unrivaled advantages. The multi-platform advertising bundle goes beyond the traditional print publication to include: a community website, which converts the publication’s editorial, pictures and design elements into a digital format; on-the-go wireless access via various web-enabled devices; and the searchable vpMobile.us® Business Directory Portal, featuring the Chamber’s entire membership directory, available wirelessly, 24/7. Since 1996, the Village Profile® website has seen over 250,000,000 hits from Internet locales around the world and from all manners of users, and the vpmobile.us site totaled more than 8.4 million hits from 2011-2012. This considerable traffic will prove beneficial to the entire Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce community.
This leading-edge, technologically advanced, royalty-generating publishing program is made possible through a partnership between the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce and Chamber member Village Profile®.
For publication and advertising information or to reserve ad space now, contact the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce at (630) 256-3180 or the Sales Representative Barry Kenis at (630) 479-1526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past December, we welcomed the following to the Aurora Regional Chamber. We encourage you to get to know your fellow members. Remember: Together we can move our region’s business community forward.
Follett: Follett delivers print and digital learning materials, retail services, library resources and school management systems to college campuses, elementary schools and everything in-between.
JCPenney – Aurora, IL: JCPenney is a national retailer specializing in clothing and home products with a convenient location at Westfield Fox Valley shopping mall as one of the anchor department stores.
Fox Valley Nutrition: Fox Valley Nutrition is all about bringing families together by promoting healthy, active lifestyles, bridging nutrition and fitness to make a happy whole.
Fidelity National Title: A Fortune 500 company with Chicagoland roots, Fidelity Nationa Title is a national and local leader in the title insurance industry for over 160 years.
AmeriChem Systems, Inc.: AmeriChem Systems is a manufacturer of custom engineered modular equipment that is used in power generation and the oil and gas marketplace.
Campbell & Turner, LLC: Campbell & Turner are committed to getting companies noticed by providing software as a service, increasing presence and brand awareness with social media and other online marketing tools.