Illinois and Chicago riddled with bad economic policy
Illinois and Chicago are riddled with many regulations, laws and licensing requirements that are unnecessary and anti-growth in nature. Politicians often claim to pass these laws in pursuit of a favorable business climate; but the result is often the opposite. Illinois’ economy is struggling. The state has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation at 9.2...
Illinois and Chicago are riddled with many regulations, laws and licensing requirements that are unnecessary and anti-growth in nature. Politicians often claim to pass these laws in pursuit of a favorable business climate; but the result is often the opposite.
Illinois’ economy is struggling. The state has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation at 9.2 percent. Illinois ranks 47th in entrepreneurial activity, 48th in economic outlook and has the fourth-highestcorporate income tax in the industrialized world.
To turn around Illinois’ economy lawmakers should start by reducing the state’s overall tax burden. Politicians should also focus on scaling back the many needless and economically restrictive policies Illinois and Chicago currently have in place.
Examples of unnecessary Illinois regulations:
- Illinois discriminates against limited liability corporations, or LLCs, compared to other types of businesses.
- Illinois imposes a $500 fee (second-highest in the nation) to start an LLC, which is three times more than a corporations.
- Illinois imposes a $300 fee to reserve a name for an LLC, while it’s only $50 for corporations.
- Illinois imposes a $100 fee to dissolve an LLC, while it’s only $5 to dissolve a corporation.
- Illinois craft breweries are restricted by the following obstructive and arbitrary regulations:
- Limited to producing 30,000 barrels (recently raised from 15,000)
- Limited to self-distributing 7,500 barrels of beer
- Illinois passed a law dubbed the “Amazon Tax,” which taxes online retailers that don’t even have a physical presence in the state. Under this law, if an online retailer has “affiliate” companies in a state, the retailer must pay state taxes. Amazon cut ties with thousands of Illinois “affiliate” companies to try to avoid the extra costs associated with the law. In 2012 the law was found to be unconstitutional by a lower court and is not currently being enforced. But that decision has been appealed and is currently under consideration by the Illinois Supreme Court.
- Illinois currently has a one-year moratorium on charter schools that contain digital learning components in their curriculum. Not only does this stifle the growth and innovation of charter schools, but most importantly it deprives our future workforce by denying them new learning tools.
- Illinois has extreme occupational licensing requirements, which limit healthy competition. The state currently requires the following fees and training:
- Athletic trainer – $500 of fees and 1,460 days of training
- Cosmetologist – $229 of fees and 350 days of training
- Barber – $142 of fees and 350 days of training
- Massage therapist – 117 days of training
Examples of unnecessary Chicago regulations:
- Through the “aldermanic privilege” zoning rules in Chicago City Council, individual aldermen are allowed to unilaterally decide the outcome of new businesses opening in their ward.
- A Chicago sign ordinance requires city approval, hundreds of dollars in fees, and a city-licensed “sign erector” to put up a business sign.
- Chicago restricts food trucks from selling food within 200 feet of a restaurant.
- Nail technicians (workers at nail salons) must complete 350 hours of training, which costs $2,000 to $3,000. They must also pass a written exam and mandatory education classes every two years.