Restaurants oppose budget provision

On behalf of the restaurants, retailers and businesses in the 58th Senate District, State Senator Terri Byrant is speaking out against a specific component of Gov. Pritzker’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal.

In his budget plan, the Governor recommends reducing the Retail Discount, a critical mechanism in place that only partially reimburses our business community for collecting and transferring Illinois’ sales tax on behalf of state and local government.

What the Governor has carelessly labeled as a “corporate loophole” is actually the business community’s way of attempting to recoup just some of the costs they incur from administering and remitting the sales tax required by law. In fact, according to the Illinois Restaurant Association, every time a consumer uses an electronic form of payment, retailers must pay a processing fee of 2.25 percent plus ten cents to credit card companies. Meanwhile, the retail discount only covers 1.75 percent of that total cost. The numbers are clear, businesses are already taking a financial hit from providing services on behalf of the state.

A point of further concern is the fact that this is not the first time his Administration has attempted to make changes to Illinois’ retail discount. In 2019, an even more aggressive attempt to eliminate the retail discount was proposed under Gov. Pritzker’s leadership.

Senate Republicans argue that government imposed shutdowns have decimated the business community, and the state should be helping create a landscape for them to rebuild rather than adding to their cost burdens. Now is the worst possible time for state government to further financially devastate the job creators of this state who are already struggling to survive and recover.

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