Tax code loopholes still exist

Jul 5, 2012

 During his budget address earlier this year, Quinn called for thorough review of Illinois tax law. Governor Pat Quinn made a big deal out of trying to close so-called loopholes in the tax code this year, but  it didn't happen.

"It's time to apply the same scrutiny to loopholes in the revenue code as we do for expenditures in the operating budget," said Quinn.

He said most so-called loopholes are based more on politics than economic policy. But as with many things in state government, it's not that simple. No major loopholes were closed this year.

Tom Johnson, with the Illinois Taxpayers Federation, says exceptions and deductions are added to tax law all the time. Quinn proposed using money from closing loopholes to abolish the natural gas utility tax.

Johnson says that's closing one loophole to create a new one:

"It's kind of a vicious cycle. Every time a tax provision is enacted to encourage an activity or something else, it's a target for a loophole closing down the road."

A spokeswoman for Quinn says the governor still hopes to pursue loophole closures later this year.