Illinois coffers built on business coffins, township clerk says
If Illinois wants to save its economy, it's got to stop killing its businesses, Hanover Township Clerk Katy Dolan Baumer told the West Cook News.
“The way to attract more businesses is to stop taxing businesses to the point where they can no longer afford to be in Illinois,” Baumer, a Republican from Streamwood, said.
Baumer lost in her bid last fall to become District 44's representative in the Illinois House.
As a small-business owner herself, Baumer understands that governments need revenue, but also knows that small businesses often have tight budgets. The government is trying to group all businesses together when it comes to fees, taxes and mandates, which is making it difficult for small businesses to succeed, she said.
“The key is we need to attract businesses by offering fair taxes," she said. "Not all businesses make tons of money; some barely scrape by."
Baumer sees businesses as an easy revenue target for governments, but such an onus can make it hard for them to compete, she said. She noted a fee businesses in her hometown are charged regardless of whether they are a brick-and-mortar store or a home-based business. Competitors in the next village don't face the same fee.
Prevailing wage is another problem, she said, because while it sounds like it makes everything fair, it doesn't, because small businesses are not in the same financial situation as larger corporations when it comes to paying employees. Baumer said she would love to hire employees and tell them they can make whatever they feel is fair, but that is not possible.
Businesses need to be able to make decisions about how much they can pay their employees and how much time off they can offer, she said.
“I think the bottom line is we are taxing our businesses out of the state of Illinois and hurting their ability to succeed in Illinois with all these ponderous requirements,” Baumer said.