Wednesday, March 23, 2005

state gets $135 M from tax scofflaws

State press release:
CHICAGO - The State of Illinois collected $135 million from close to 700 taxpayers and businesses who participated in the Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP) initiated by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in last year’s legislative session. The Voluntary Compliance Program allowed taxpayers who underreported their taxable income because they were using tax shelters to come forward and pay the associated Illinois Income Tax liability without incurring any new penalties. The Illinois Department of Revenue anticipated a $100 million return on the program at its inception in October 2004. One hundred million dollars goes to the state and the remaining thirty-five million will be distributed among local municipalities.

“This program not only helped the state get money it was owed but sends a clear signal to tax payers that we take evasion seriously,” said the Governor. “We are not going to raise income taxes and we are not going to balance the budget on the backs of working families. But we’re also not going to sit back and let businesses and individuals use unfair accounting techniques to avoid paying their share for education, health care, public safety and other important services.”

Does this kind of program help on a long-term basis? Or is it just a one-time shot in the arm?

Does Blagojevich have a realistic chance of passing a budget without a tax increase?


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