'Home repair tax' will hurt Illinois home building industry, Quad Cities builders say
Legislators are mulling a 6.25 percent "home repair tax" that could damage the home building and repair industry and negatively impact property value, home maintenance and contractor employment, Julie Huffer, executive officer of the Quad Cities Builders & Remodelers Association, told Rock Island Today.
“This tax could potentially decrease spending and residents not putting money back into their property or possibly giving reason to moving across the river to neighboring Iowa," Huffer said.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) to address the state's budget two-year budget stalemate. It's part of a collection of 12 bills, known as the "grand bargain," on hold in the Senate.
Huffer is optimistic this tax won't pass, but until then, she believes it's her duty to highlight exactly how this legislation, which calls for a tax on home repairs, landscaping, dry cleaning and storage facilities, could impact the builders and homeowners in the Quad Cities and around the state.
The Home Builders Association of Illinois (HBAI) estimates the loss of home repair and maintenance work could mean a $47 million loss for the industry, impacting more than 500 jobs and costing millions of dollars in local and state tax revenue, the State Journal-Register reported. Meanwhile, the tax is estimated to raise between $45 million and $60 million — a tenth of what other proposed taxes could generate.
HBAI warned residents the tax will hurt the state and potential homeowners willing to build new homes. It could stand in the way of homeowners who want to perform maintenance on their homes, with delays leading to higher repair costs down the road.
“The (HBAI) said a tax would create dire consequences for Illinoisans who want to keep their homes in good shape,” KWQC reported. “Repair and remodel businesses also will face confusion over which products and projects will be taxed."
Illinois ranks last among the states for the number of building permits it issues
“All other states are seeing more activity in building homes than we are,” Bill Ward, executive vice president of HBAI told KWQC. “Some home builders have added home remodeling and repair services just to keep the doors open, and this bad tax idea threatens their existence.”
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