Home builders group sees walls tumbling down if 'home repair tax' passes
A "home repair tax" will do little to fix the rotting infrastructure of Illinois' economy but would do devastating damage to an industry still reeling from the Great Recession, Mike Moews, president of the Bloomington-Normal Area Home Builders Association, said recently.
“This tax would be coming along at the worst possible time,” Moews told the McClean County Times of the proposal to slap a 6.25 percent tariff on home repairs, landscaping, dry cleaning and storage facilities as part of the overall grand bargain being pushed to end the state’s ongoing budget woes. “Since 2007, new home construction has been down by 40 percent nationally and by even more here in Illinois. This tax only stands to further stifle things in that area and have even more major consequences for the home repair and maintenance side of things.”
Association execs have estimated that the proposed tax could cost the state as much as $47 million in home repair and maintenance work, more than 500 industry jobs and nearly $8 million in sales tax revenue.
All that for a tax Bill Ward insists will have little impact when it comes to helping the state dig its way out of its multibillion-dollar financial hole.
Ward, the executive vice president and director of governmental affairs for the Home Builders Association of Illinois, estimates that the home repair bill would generate approximately $60 million in annual tax revenues, far below the projected $400 million that would come from a proposed soft drink tax.
“It would do very little to help the state of Illinois but will be a tremendous burden on this particular industry,” he said.
The home repair bill is sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields), who has defended it as a needed step in aiding the state erase its reported $13 billion debt in unpaid bills.
The grand bargain is a collection of 12 bills that is still being considered by the Senate.