With one of the year’s final snowfalls on the ground, leave it to lawmakers to try to tax how it’s gotten rid of. It’s another idea to help offset the billions of dollars the state owes.
It’s part of a package of other taxable services in the grand bargaining plan which would add 6.25% tax. It seems like every week, lawmakers are looking for more services to tax.
Snow plow companies say, depending on how big the project, $50 to plow a driveway could cost customers about $3 more.
Jacob Godar owns Scooters Snow Plow Removal. He says he thrives on days when there is a heap of snowfall. While snow days are busy, Godar says it keeps his business booming. “Ever since 2015, we’ve been non-stop.” But, an idea stirring up in the Capitol would begin taxing services like snow plowing and law care. Godar, who offers both, says he’s not too concerned.
“I don’t love it, but, at the same time, it’s a flow through for us. The customers are going to be the ones who see it, so the worst thing it does for us, maybe, it will look like a hidden fee and make work a little harder to sell.”
Lawmakers say the new tax expansion could be the second largest source of annual funding in the grand bargain after an income tax increase. This has the potential to raise more than $290 million.
Representative Tim Butler (R) says it does have benefits, but it shouldn’t pick winners or losers.
“If they’re looking at a service tax specifically, I hope it’s not so specific on one industry, like the beverage tax was and maybe spread it out a little.”
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability says Illinois has one of the narrowest tax bases. Illinois only taxes about 17 services when compared to the national average of 56. “We might not be taxing many services, but we could be getting heavily taxed somewhere else that, if you look across the board and averaged it, we’re probably already compensated.”
Godar says, while things continue to change in the Statehouse to help balance the budget, he says he will not make any adjustments to his business. “It’s going to amount to a few dollars so it’s not going to be as big, but yes, it will probably make things harder to sell.”
Snow plow projects join eight other services which could see the 6.25% sales tax.