Those pushing the bag tax in Illinois may not care much about the body of research on this topic. They’re looking out for a different kind of green. In a scramble for new revenue and an unwillingness to take on any reform on the spending side, the Statehouse has turned to creative ways to nickel-and-dime residents.
Shoppers across Illinois would pay a new state-level bag tax under Senate Bill 1240 and House Bill 3335. But Chicago shoppers, who already pay a city bag tax, would not.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed state budget includes an estimated $19 million to $23 million in new revenue from a statewide tax on plastic bags. Illinois would be the only state in the nation to levy such a tax.
State lawmakers should reform Illinois’ overly complicated sales taxes and other anti-business taxes, which violate guiding principles of sound tax policy.
The new tax on plastic bags is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest revenue grab.