Sen. Tom Cullerton

VILLA PARK – Over the next five years, businesses will gradually cease to pay the archaic franchise tax under legislation championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

“As a state it is our duty to adopt policies that encourage economic growth and development,” Cullerton said. “The elimination of this convoluted tax will encourage business owners to expand and grow in our communities.”

Created in 1872, the corporate franchise tax is a tax on “paid in capital” for the privilege of doing business in Illinois. Last year, 346,000 companies paid about $172 million in taxes. After Illinois’ franchise tax is eliminated, only seven states in the nation will still impose a similar tax.

“Taxing businesses sends the wrong message,” Cullerton said. “Business owners should not be penalized for doing businesses in Illinois.”

Cullerton has also supported a new amnesty program for overdue franchise taxes and license fees. Under that program, penalties are waived for payment of any overdue taxes or fees for the period of March 15, 2008 to June 30, 2019.

In 2017, Cullerton also championed a law that dropped the filling fees for small businesses to register in Illinois from $500 to $150 and lowered the annual filing fee for LLCs from $250 to a much lower fee of $75.

“Cutting startup fees will help new businesses get off the ground and grow roots in Illinois,” Cullerton said. “We must continue to do whatever we can to encourage economic development in our state to create new jobs, increase the tax base and spur economic development.”