What tax reform means for Illinois

Mar 07, 2018 | Communications •

Small business owners passing out bonuses.

Parents saving for their kids’ education.

Relief for families struggling to get by.

These are just a handful of the stories shared by members of the Illinois delegation on the House floor. With the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act becoming more popular than ever as the new withholding tables hit paychecks, the good news keeps rolling in. 4 million workers (and counting) have received more than $4 billion in bonuses, and 90 percent of Americans are seeing an increase in take-home pay — all thanks to tax reform! For more on that, visit FairandSimple.gop.

Check out what these Illinoisans are hearing from families and workers at home ↓

REP. JOHN SHIMKUS:

“What we did is we posted a question on our newsletter to ask people to respond, and I want to share some of these responses….Ken and Pam from St. Joseph—we call it St. Joe—they say: ‘Personally we have seen an increase in our net wages each week. With our business, we seem to have an increase in other companies starting new things.’ Gregg from Charleston says: ‘More money in my take-home check.’ A pretty simple statement. James from Marine says: ‘My retirement check just went up. Thanks.’ Jeff from Carlyle says: ‘Positive results only so far, just as expected with a commonsense tax cut.’ Carl from Collinsville, which is my hometown. I am glad Carl is happy. He says: ‘I am seeing more on my paycheck each week. Keep up the good work.’”

“Griffith Trucking, Broadway Express, Heartland Peterbilt, and Heartland Classics—which are in Effingham and Newton—gave $1,000 bonuses to 65 full-time employees. FedEx has a big distribution hub in my district, same place, in Effingham. FedEx has committed to more than $3 billion in wage increases, bonuses, pension funding, and expanded U.S. capital investment. Charter Communications is raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour as a result of this tax cut plan.”

“We as a body were tired of being in a malaise. Is this all we can hope for? We wanted an economy that would grow and create jobs and be vibrant, that people would be excited about going back to the workforce, working hard, taking home more of their pay, investing it into the market or in their retirement savings; and that is just what we are having. Mr. Speaker, I have a lot of my colleagues here on the floor, so I could talk a long time on the benefits of the bill. I am very, very excited about it.”


REP. PETER ROSKAM:

“You know, I think it is so interesting. We are all coming together, various States, to celebrate these accomplishments and to take a step back: how far we have come in the past year or the past several months where you look back and, basically, there was a national consensus that had developed, and the consensus was nobody liked our Tax Code—I mean nobody. Nobody could defend it because it was absurd. It was so complicated. Those of us who are from the Chicago area, we know that the last time the Tax Code was updated was when the Bears won the Super Bowl, so that is 30 years ago. …The Tax Code was such a throwback that the last time it was updated, 1986, the internet didn’t exist, basically, as a commercial enterprise. There was no shared economy, per se. Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, all those things, they didn’t exist. Global supply chains were nowhere nearly as connected as they are today, which all begged the question that we needed a Tax Code to update things.

“Now, here is what was interesting: The hyperbole that surrounded the debate on the tax reform bill as H.R. 1 kept moving in and, ultimately, came to a crescendo, passed through the House, passed through the Senate, and was signed into law, it was described by, God bless them, our friends on the other side of the aisle as the worst bill ever, Armageddon, and, obviously, now, the famous line that the result of these things were crumbs. Well, none of that turned out to be true. This was a terrific bill.

“Let me just give you a couple of examples, Mr. Speaker, of people in my constituency who have written publicly or they have written to me privately about this bill. Here is Mary from Wheaton, Illinois, my hometown. She said: ‘Our family is already feeling the positive impact of the changes made in the Tax Code. Our daughter and her husband just had their first baby and will be able to take advantage of the doubled child tax credit next year. Throughout our extended family, those who work for big and small businesses alike are witnessing immediate effects. Companies are investing the anticipated benefits of the new tax law in the form of bonuses, pay raises, capital improvements, and new hires. And that’s just the beginning. The true value of this Tax Code will become even more evident in the months and years ahead.’ Mary is absolutely right.

“…Nicole, from Elgin. She says: ‘Thanks to the new tax bill, my family will be saving an estimated $4,000 on our taxes next year. Not only that, but I’m getting a $1,000 bonus and an extra $1,500 in my employee pension account from my employer as a result of the changes.’

“…an enrolled agent, Stephen, from Wayne. He prepares people’s taxes. He says: ‘As an enrolled agent entering my 35th tax season, I am anxiously awaiting the smiles I will be getting from my clients when I inform them how much they will be saving on their 2018 tax return . . . the clear majority of my clients will be paying lower tax rates in 2018 due to the recently passed Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.’ And then I will go to the end of his note. He says: ‘I haven’t been able to say this very often over the past 35 years, but I am actually looking forward to this tax season.’”

“Look, if all the critics can do is basically say, well, this isn’t enough or this is crumbs, they have not been to my constituency. To tell a family that I represent, Mr. Speaker, that $1,000 is crumbs is just patently obtuse. $1,000 is real money: $1,000 is getting ahead on a car payment; $1,000 is the ability to move forward and say we are going to go on a little extra special vacation, we are going to put a little bit more money toward our college fund, we are going to put a little bit more money toward our retirement.”


REP. MIKE BOST:

“If we put in perspective how long ago it was that we did tax reform in this Nation, I was running for my first political office for county board. I had a mullet, and it looked good—at least my wife told me it did.

“But let me tell you that, after we passed this tax reform—I come from deep southern Illinois, nowhere near Chicago, a very rural district, a little bit of metropolitan—a typical family of four will receive a break of over $2,000 per year. Now, folks, I don’t know how it would be in your district or in your hometown if you are listening to this tonight, but that is not crumbs where I come from….Let me tell you that I have been around my district talking to people; and you go to barber shops and coffee shops, and my wife and I own a beauty salon, and you hear from the people how much they are saving, so much so that we actually asked for people to start replying on our Facebook and to tell us what their story was. I am just going to give you a few of these. I know that we are on limited time, but I am going to tell you that Bobby from Makanda, here is what he writes: I am a police officer and my wife is a high school teacher. Combined, the new tax rates save us over $300 a month. We have two teenage children. The additional income will help us save for upcoming college expenses.

“Terry from Royalton writes: My wife is an educator and I am in health care. Since these changes have affected my pay about the same as hers, we know how much it changes our monthly income. About $300. His statement is: Hey, Nancy, if that is crumbs in your world, it’s not in mine.

“Tracy from Wood River writes: Tax reform allows more money for college, more money to be put towards paying off our home, provides more activities for our children, and allows us to save more money for the future.

“These are just three stories of countless that we have heard. Countless have come in not only from individuals on the individual tax rate, but the business tax rate as well: expansion of business, growing of business, using it to expand the 401(k)s of their employees, giving increases in pay to their employees.

“The bottom line is this: The tax reform allows people to keep more money of their paycheck. It allows them the opportunity to use that money in the way they see fit, not how the government wants to use it. They earned that money. It is theirs. They should be able to keep more of it to spend and save as they please. This new tax reform does just that.”


REP. ADAM KINZINGER:

“This was a great thing we did. It had been— I was 8 years old the last time the Tax Code was reformed, and I think this is something we, frankly, ought to do every decade; at the worst case, every two decades; definitely not every 30 years. So it is about time to get it done.

“I wish this could have been bipartisan. I think there are a lot of fantastic things in here, and I think it is quite obvious that the economy is showing some really big benefit as a result. I think it is hard to hide that. It is hard to pretend that that is not the case, even though some of our friends try to do that, but it is quite obvious it has worked.

“I just want to tell a few stories of my district, the 16th District of Illinois. I was at a tax reform roundtable last month at the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce, and I heard from my local business community about how this bill affects them and what they would like to see moving forward. One gentleman from Walnut, Illinois, in Bureau County, was really excited about the tax cuts his small business would receive. He plans to increase hourly wages and hire seven to ten new employees over the next two years. That, my friends, is not crumbs. That is important.

“The tax relief for businesses, large and small, is being shared with employees all over. Over the last few months, more than 300 companies, and counting, have announced plans to add people, add bonuses, add to retirement benefits, and give back to the U.S. economy. Employees at UPS in my district, Home Depot, Bank of America, Ryder, AT&T, U-Haul, and many others with Illinois locations will receive these bonuses and benefits. A few weeks ago, I went to the Fiat Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois, and I met with employees who were excited and encouraged by the $2,000 bonus they will receive in the second quarter of this year.

“According to the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 85 percent of Illinoisans will see a tax cut next year, and the nonpartisan Tax Foundation has estimated that the State of Illinois stands to gain tens of thousands of jobs from this reform. This is great news. By bringing the Tax Code into the 21st Century to reflect current day is real and tangible in terms of the benefits it will put into our economy. Our future is bright, our economy is growing stronger, and, with tax relief, the American Dream is once again on the horizon for folks in my district and across the country.”


REP. RANDY HULTGREN:

“Illinois is a high-tax State. We have seen Illinois State taxes continue to go up, so it is a welcome relief that Congress has brought federal tax relief to the people of Illinois. I am grateful for the residents of the 14th Congressional District, the suburbs of Chicago, who are seeing great relief and especially the benefits that come to small businesses, truly the energy and the engine behind Illinois’s economy. They are going to receive immediate benefits from a reduced tax burden and more flexible accounting rules.

“I am also pleased that the final version of the legislation included this portion of my bill, which was to lower taxes on Illinois’ largest employers, which is small businesses, and it is called the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act. Further, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act reduced corporate tax rates to 21 percent and includes provisions to deter U.S. companies from moving their headquarters and investments abroad and encouraging them to bring income and jobs back home again. Again, this is welcome news for Illinois residents.

“Numerous companies who employ residents of the 14th Congressional District have announced new investments and new hiring and giving more money to their employees, wages, bonuses, trainings, and more. Just a sampling of these are: AbbVie, American Community Bank, First Midwest Bank, EMKAY, Boeing, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Wintrust Financial, Home Depot, Walmart, CVS, and Starbucks. American manufacturers are hiring more workers.

“In my district, a Geneva manufacturer has already brought on two new employees to manage the equipment the company invested in under the new expensing rules. A Will County food distributor plans to hire two new employees in 2018, with the money the company saved through tax reform, and the list goes on and on.”


REP. DARIN LAHOOD:

“When I went in to looking at the legislation in the bill, I really looked at two things as we looked at comprehensive tax reform. One is, how do we help middle class and lower middle class people across this country and in my district? And secondly, how do we get the economy roaring again? We, for almost nine years, had a very sluggish economy and stagnant wages. How do we get the economy healthy, robust, vibrant again? We succeeded on both those counts with this bill, and I am very proud to support it.

“This historic tax reform law is making a real difference for our families and our workers. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take it from the hardworking people I have spoken with across Illinois’s 18th District. The workers I have spoken with are already seeing the results of the new withholding tables, which is no surprise. In fact, the median family of four in my district will save $2,593—again, let me repeat that, $2,593 every year from this new law. This figure is certainly not crumbs, as some people would describe it. When half of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck, this is real money for them.

“The benefits have already gone beyond lowering the rates, with more bonuses and pay raises being announced every single day. One example from my district is the Five Senses Spa in Peoria, Illinois. This is a small business. And for over a decade, the owner, Paola Hinton, has provided clients with relief from the stresses of their life at her spa. With the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Five Senses Spa is now providing tax relief to their employees. After calculating the savings from her business that she saw through the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Paola handed out $500 bonuses to all of her employees as a ‘thank you’ for their hard work. This is real money that the employees can put towards expenses, new purchases, or even saving up for things like education or a home or a new car.

“But tax reform also has positive effects beyond larger paychecks. Last month, I spoke with a constituent named Chris, who is a small-business owner, and also the fire marshal for Springfield and Sangamon Counties. Chris attended a roundtable discussion I hosted in Springfield and talked about how the new depreciation rules, as a part of the tax reform law, have already incentivized building owners to upgrade their sprinkler and safety equipment, which has benefitted his small business. Safer buildings and up-to-date fire prevention are a win-win for everyone. I was glad to hear that even our local fire marshal was seeing the real effects of commonsense tax reform and reforming our Tax Code. Stories like these are coming from every district across this great country, and the benefits of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act show no sign of slowing down, and that is good news for all Americans.”