Illinois lawmaker proposes tax…on rain?

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An Illinois lawmaker has proposed a so-called “rain tax” to allow non-home rule municipalities to charge a fee to maintain their stormwater utility infrastructure.

House Bill 825, introcuced by State Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights), would allow municipalities, such as Rockford, to pay for storm sewer maintenance.

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) argued that the measure would allow rain to be taxed by allowing “stormwater utility charges to offset the cost of owning, maintaining, and improving local stormwater infrastructure,” according to the Illinois News Network.

“And it’s a fee, so it’s not tax deductible,” Skillicorn said. “It’s also something a church would have to pay, businesses; it’s also unlimited, so this theoretically, ten, fifteen years from now could be the biggest tax hike Illinois has ever seen.”

DeLuca says Skillicorn is misrepresenting the bill.

“This is not a mandate. This is not a fee increase. This is not a tax increase. It’s an authorization bill,” he said. “Flooding is a big problem in many communities, especially in non-home rules because right now they don’t have the funds to maintain the systems.”

The measure passed a House committee this week.

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