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Illinois GOP Pushing $500M Jobs Package

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Illinois State Capitol buillding in Springfield (AP Photo)

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DECATUR, Ill. (WBBM) – Illinois Republicans have filed a measure they say will create tens of thousands of jobs. They think it’s something Democrats can get behind as well.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) announced the $492 million jobs package at Stripmasters in Decatur, a business that’s using portions of the shuttered Bridgestone-Firestone tire plant.

Cross says the package will increase estate tax exemptions to $5 million, up from the current $2 million, could extend enterprise zones by up to 20 years and would make permanent the Illinois Research and Development Tax Credit. But absent is an attempt to scale back recent income or corporate income tax increases.

“We picked five things that we thought the Democrats might be open to doing, because there have been discussions about these in the past,” says Cross. “I’d love to do that. I don’t run the place.”

Republicans say the measure would directly create 40,000 new jobs and another 20,000 as a result of those jobs. It’s based on extending tax credits; encouraging ethanol and biodiesel research and development; and increasing estate tax exemptions.”

State Rep. Adam Brown (R-Decatur) agrees with Cross, but says the bill is a good start.

“I’d like to see the estate tax repealed, I’d like to see the income tax repealed,” he said. “To create jobs, you can’t just simply tax folks to death and expect them to increase their opportunities for growth.”

The bill would also allow corporations to use net operating losses as tax deductions for four years, a provision that was eliminated with the passage of the income and corporate tax increases. The cost to set up an LLC would decrease from $750 to $100, which is more in line with other Midwestern states.

The cost of the jobs package would be roughly $500 million, but Cross said the GOP analysis showed the jobs created would pump more than $600 million back into the economy.

The measure, H.B. 3811, has been filed and a Cross spokeswoman says it’ll likely come up for debate in the fall Veto Session next month.

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