Updated 9:34 a.m. to clarify that strip clubs would be taxed, too, under a revenue bill proposal, along with a number of other service industries and business in general for the ‘privilege of doing business” in Illinois.
The Land of Lincoln is the Land of Taxes.
The state that brought the world the Great Emancipator it seems will tax anything standing (or sitting or stretching or sleeping) – except, it seemed, strip clubs.
But apparently even a repealed tax can never truly die in tax-and-spend Illinois.
SB 9 is part of a package of 13 bills making its way through the Illinois General Assembly, according to a report by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
The proposal calls for the removal of Illinois’ controversial soda tax proposal to be replaced by the Business Opportunity Tax Act. The tax would be imposed on businesses based on staffing numbers. Beginning July 1, 2017, a tax would be imposed on qualified businesses for the “privilege of doing business in the state.” The bigger the business, of course, the steeper the tax – from $225 to $15,000.
The bill also would raise the corporate income tax rate to 7 percent and personal income tax rate to 4.99 percent. It establishes “service taxes” on storage businesses, amusements, repair and maintenance, landscaping, and laundry and dry-cleaning services.
And, just what business and consumers have been clamoring for, a tax on cable television services and direct broadcast satellite services.
Particular adult services, however, would get a pass under the bill.
The bill would repeal the Adult Entertainment Tax, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Illinois charges strip club operators a surcharge amounting to $3 per person entering the establishment.
But wait … repeal doesn’t mean what you might think it does – at least not in Illinois.
The tax would be repealed “because it’s being added to the excise tax to cover services. It’s simply moving from one part of law to another,” says John Patterson, director of Illinois Senate Democrats. Patterson wanted to make sure to let know Watchdog that strip clubs, like other service firms, would not escape taxation.
“The adult entertainment tax was initially created as a dedicated funding source for programs that assist victims of sexual abuse and violence. The funding would continue for those efforts through the excise tax,” the spokesman said.
Unlike Wisconsin and other states, Patterson said, Illinois taxes “very, very few services.”
So, apparently no time like the present in the cash-strapped Land of Taxes to hit service businesses up.
“Amusement services would be part of this new excise tax. The strip club industry would fall under that provision. That’s why, as proposed, the Adult Entertainment Tax would be eliminated in the tax code,” Patterson said. “We wouldn’t want duplicate taxes on one industry.”