Illinois lawmakers want to tax laundry, storage unit services

Illinois lawmakers want to tax laundry, storage unit services

Senate Bill 9 would apply a 6.25 percent sales tax to laundry, dry cleaning, storage units and parking garages, among other services.

Illinois state senators have proposed a laundry list of new tax hikes, including a permanent income tax hike, a corporate income tax hike, taxes on Netflix, sugary drinks, landscaping and more as part of the Senate’s “grand bargain” budget deal. As it turns out, laundry itself can also be added to that list, as well as “storage units” ranging from personal storage, to amusement park lockers to parking garages.

As part of an amendment to Senate Bill 9, filed by state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights, a 6.25 percent sales tax would be applied to a range of services such as landscaping and internet streaming, laundry, dry cleaning, cloth pressing, dyeing or linen service, and the use of storage units.

The legislation defines “space for storage” as “rooms, units, compartments or container … where the purchaser can store and retrieve property.” This includes, outlined in the amendment:

  • Self-storage and mini-storage units. This isn’t just limited to personal units: It also includes storage units in amusement parks, water parks and recreational facilities.
  • Parking lots, ramps and garages
  • Aircraft parking area or hanger
  • Boat slip or dock

Illinois’ overall state and local tax burden is already the highest in the nation, and more taxes won’t fix the state’s many structural problems. Only foundational reforms can fix Illinois.

Lawmakers should be redirecting their focus from tax hikes to reforms such as a property tax freeze, workers’ compensation reform and a reduction in subsidies to local governments. Squeezing every last penny out of already cash-strapped Illinoisans won’t solve the state’s fiscal problems, but lawmakers in the General Assembly continue to try the same tired ideas to raise revenue without rethinking the way state government operates.

SB 9 – and the entire makeup of the Senate’s “grand bargain” – would be bad for struggling Illinois taxpayers. Lawmakers should scrap their list of tax hikes and restart any budget talks with reforms in mind first.

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