Proposed Illinois Advertising Tax Targets Real Estate Agents and Other Small Business Owners

Legislators at Illinois Capitol considering controversial advertising tax proposalIn an effort to increase revenue, Illinois lawmakers are considering enacting an up to 10 percent tax on the purchase of advertising services in the state. Since Realtors® and other small business owners often rely heavily on advertising and other marketing services they would be disproportionately affected substantially increasing their cost of doing business in the state.

The Illinois Association of Realtors® (IAR) has issued a call for action asking its members to let lawmakers know that the proposed ad tax is a bad idea. “At a time when the housing market is just recovering from the recession, it makes little sense to do anything to chill the economic rebound,” mentioned Jon Broadbooks, director of communications, IAR, in a recent blog post.

If legislators approve the measure Illinois would become the only state in the country with an advertising tax. A handful of other states have tried passing a similar tax on advertising services, but the effort either failed or was repealed. The State of Florida enacted an advertising tax in 1987. It negatively impacted the economy and was repealed six months later. Real estate agents are trying to avoid a similar economic loss from occurring in Illinois and oppose the advertising tax.

With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and a recovering housing market, many believe it is counterproductive to institute such a tax burden on the small business community who are the driving force of the Illinois economy.

photo credit: Justin Brockie via photopin (license)