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Link urges income tax relief for Lake County flood victims

link 051717SPRINGFIELD – Lake County flood victims whose property was damaged during this summer’s floods could receive a natural disaster tax credit thanks to a bill sponsored by Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills).

“The hundred-year flooding of this past summer caused severe damage to thousands of Lake County properties,” Link said. “Residents are doing everything they can to rebuild their homes and businesses, but they need our help. This natural disaster tax credit will help victims get back on their feet by reducing the financial burden caused by the floods.”

Senate Bill 403 allows an income tax credit of up to $750 in counties where a state disaster proclamation was issued in July of this year. In order to qualify for the natural disaster income tax credit, individuals must own property and must have reported property damage to the appropriate authority. If an individual received an insurance reimbursement, they are not entitled to the tax credit.

State disaster proclamations were declared in the following counties in July 2017: Lake, Carroll, Cook, Henry, Jo Daviess, Kane, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside.

The measure passed in the Senate today with strong bipartisan support.

Bertino-Tarrant advocates for Illinois’ small businesses

JBTAprilSPRINGFIELD- To encourage small business development in Illinois, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed a new tax credit to encourage and assist beginning entrepreneurs.

Bertino-Tarrant joined the Illinois State Senate in voting to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1462, which creates an Entrepreneur Learner's Permit pilot program.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Economic development policies should not be a partisan issue. We all win when Illinois businesses thrive.”

The tax credit will reimburse beginning entrepreneurs forming new businesses in the information service, biotechnology and green technology business sectors for state fees associated with forming a new business in Illinois.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Development will administer the program. The program is capped at a total of $500,000 in reimbursements. 

“Investing in small businesses is a key component to growing Illinois’ economy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I will continue to advocate for policies that encourage economic development and give small businesses the opportunity to grow right here in Illinois.”

After two years, the Department of Commerce and Economic Development will evaluate the program’s effectiveness and report to Illinois General Assembly and governor to ensure the tax credit is achieving its goal.

The measure passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration.

Tom Cullerton battles big student loan lenders to lower college debt costs

tc 062717SPRINGFIELD- Illinois may soon have new protections in place to protect college students from crippling student loan debt, thanks to Villa Park Democrat Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton joined the Illinois Senate in voting to override Governor Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1351, which creates the Student Loan Bill of Rights and prohibits predatory loan servicers from engaging in any unfair or deceptive practices towards students or parents.

“College debt has become unbearable,” Cullerton said. “For many, the American dream includes obtaining a college education. I’m proud to work with my colleagues to ensure our children are given an opportunity to succeed and graduate from college without crippling amounts of student debt.”

The Student Loan Bill of Rights would ensure students and their families receive clear information about funds they borrow for higher education and how their student loans are serviced.

The legislation also aims to crack down on the student loan servicing industry that has made it increasingly more difficult and expensive for students and parents to repay educational loans.

In addition, Cullerton has been fighting to lower college education costs by championing legislation to cut bloated administrative severance packages and perks.

“Students should not be paying for hefty handouts to failed college administrators,” Cullerton said. “State funding and tuition dollars should be going toward educating our students and training them to be future leaders in Illinois and across our great nation.”

Most recently, Cullerton worked with the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission to investigate misuse and abuse at state community colleges and universities. Next spring, he plans to introduce new legislation to increase public transparency and input on severance packages and salaries for higher education administrators.

“Cutting administrative costs will lower tuition cost and fees,” Cullerton said. “This is a common sense approach that will give all of Illinois’ children an opportunity to achieve the American dream.”

Senate Bill 1351 passed the Senate and moves to the House for consideration.

Hastings works to create new Illinois jobs

hastings 012617SPRINGFIELD- Illinois startups may soon have a new tax credit available, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

Hastings joined the Illinois State Senate in voting to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1462, which creates a new tax credit to reimburse new startup businesses for state fees associated with forming a new business in Illinois.

“The investments we make in small businesses spur economic development and new jobs for our communities,” Hastings said. “Our communities win when small businesses thrive in Illinois.”

The tax credit will reimburse beginning entrepreneurs who are forming new businesses in the information service, biotechnology and green technology business sectors for state fees associated with starting a new business in Illinois.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Development will administer the program. The program is capped at a total of $500,000 in reimbursements. 

Hastings was shocked by Governor Rauner’s veto of legislation that may help build Illinois’ economy.

“I was surprised the self-described ‘business governor’ did not embrace new legislation to enhance Illinois’ economy and encourage new residents to invest in our communities,” Hastings said. “Growing our economy is not a partisan issue. It is our responsibility to work together to create new jobs and encourage entrepreneurs to choose Illinois as their home.”

Hastings says the Department of Commerce and Economic Development will evaluate the program’s effectiveness and report back to the General Assembly and governor to ensure the tax credit is achieving its goal.  At that time the General Assembly can work together to enhance and change the tax credit to make sure it is meeting the needs of local residents.

Senate Bill 1462 passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration.

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