When drivers shift into ‘park’ after Jan. 1, Illinois will move to collect taxes

When drivers shift into ‘park’ after Jan. 1, Illinois will move to collect taxes

Illinoisans paying to park will see a new tax beginning in January. Even parking on someone’s lawn for a special event will be taxed.

Beginning Jan. 1, Illinois drivers will face a new tax for parking their cars.

Parking lots that charge three or more cars for a space will be subject to the tax. And according to rules released by the Illinois Department of Revenue, even parking on someone’s lawn for the county fair or stock car races is to be taxed.

The tax is supposed to generate $60 million, but the money is for buildings and renovation projects rather than road work. Monthly and annual spaces will be taxed at 9%, while hourly, daily and weekly spots will be taxed at 6%. It’s part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s $45 billion infrastructure project and record $40 billion state budget funded by 20 new taxes and fees. The infrastructure plan has been clouded by at least $1.4 billion in wasteful spending and by corruption schemes.

A driver paying $60 every month for a parking space would see the cost of their space rise by $5.40, according to the Herald and Review. The IDOR rules are still awaiting approval from state lawmakers, but the tax can take effect without their approval.

Some parking lots will be exempt from the tax. Government-owned lots, metered lots and street parking, as well as some private lots such as employee parking at hospitals will not be subject to taxation.

The IDOR’s 23 pages of rules on the taxation of parking lots are filled with examples to make it clear what kind of parking lots will be taxed. One of the examples involves how the new tax works at an event, such as a local fair.

“Every year a fair comes to a town,” the rules read. “The owners of property near the fairground sell parking spaces on their property for $10 per day. If an owner of property makes available for use more than three parking spaces, the owner is liable for collecting and remitting the tax.”

Innocent residents who try to capitalize on their home’s location or are trying to ease a burden for others will be punished for trying to make extra money. Tax policies like these contribute to the state’s unfriendly business climate and harm the state’s economy.

Voters did not get a voice on this new tax. But voters will have the ability to stop another unfair tax in November when Pritzker’s progressive income tax hike appears on the ballot. A progressive tax would drop Illinois’ business climate to the third worst in America.

It is unclear how IDOR intends to enforce tax collection when someone takes cash so someone else can park in their yard.

Illinois should not waste time collecting taxes from some old couple making a few extra bucks when the fair comes to town. Instead, state leaders should spend their energy on reforming the state’s out-of-control spending and pension problem as well as making Illinois a friendly place to do business.

State revenue should rise from economic growth, not from further punishing those who’ve stayed and tried to earn a living.

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