|P2 HomeWhat is P2Key IssuesIllinois ChamberContactGrassroots Signup|
New Year, New Laws for 2012
Traffic Laws/Toll Rates
Seat Belts for the Back Seat
Adults riding in the back seat of a vehicle must wear a seat belt. Offenders could face a $25 fine.
Images of violators caught by the camera must be able to be viewed online, and the municipality or county operating the cameras must post their location on their official website.
Trailer Riding Ban
Unless it’s an emergency, this new law restricts people from riding in a trailer, semitrailer, farm wagon or any other vehicle while it is being towed on a public highway.
Drivers on Illinois’ Tollway system will pay nearly double the rates they did last year. I-Pass users will see an 87.5% increase; tolls that cost 40 cents have now jumped to 75 cents, while tolls that cost 80 cents will now cost $1.50. The rate increase will supposedly pay for the cost of $12.1 billion in expansions and improvements to the toll system over the next 15 years.
Employers can garnish wages without an employee’s consent in order to collect a debt owed to a municipality.
Rental Car Traffic Citations
Rental car companies can give the name of a car’s previous renter to the Secretary of State so that the renter can be ticketed if she or he is caught on an automated camera breaking a traffic law.
Cost to employers for unemployment insurance may be going up in 2012 for some companies, while others that have not had a history of layoffs in the past three years may see their rates decrease. Other changes to the unemployment insurance law were enacted in 2011 to start paying back the $2.4 billion outstanding loan Illinois owes to the federal government as a result of the fund drying up due to the Great Recession. Benefit changes and other rates increases to employers will start around 2016. For a full analysis, click HERE.
Changes were enacted to Illinois’ workers’ compensation system in 2011, however, not enough to bring true reform to substantially lower overall costs for Illinois businesses which are one of the highest in the nation. Some efforts were made to reduce costs such as a 30% reduction in the medical fee schedule, increases fraud provisions, caps on wage differentials, utilization review, limited employer direction of medical care, amount other incremental changes. For a full analysis, click HERE.
The controversial “Amazon Tax” became effective in Illinois on July 1, 2011 and is in full effect for 2012. According to the Department of Revenue if you are an out-of-state retailer who has a contract with a person located in Illinois under which:
Research & Development Credit/Corporate Income Tax Operating Loss Deduction
As part of the Sears/CME tax package, the expired Research & Development Tax Credit was extended for another 5 years and the corporate income tax operating loss deduction was restored.
Estate Tax Exemption
Illinois’ estate tax exemption was increased this year to $3.5 million for 2012 and $4 million for 2013.
Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit
The Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit that provides a $2,500 per job tax credit to small businesses for every new full-time position was set to expire in 2012, however, has been extended to 2016. Click HERE for more information.
Expanded Temporary Storage Exemption
The Illinois Chamber’s bill to extend the sunset of the expanded temporary storage sales tax exemption for centralized purchasing activity taking place in Illinois has been extended to 2016.
EDGE Withholding Expansion
The legislature continues to allow the election to use earned EDGE credits against Illinois withholding tax on an industry-by-industry basis. SB 4 expands the withholding election to several new technology industries and to tire manufacturers.
High Speed Rail Property Tax Hold Harmless
The Illinois Chamber supported HB 1518 which included a hold harmless provision for freight railroads that are working with the State to improve rail service in Illinois in preparation for high speed rail. The bill would prevent increased property tax assessments for freight companies allowing rail improvements attributable to high speed passenger rail system needs.
Business Corridor Property Tax Benefits
HB 212 provides that 2 adjoining disadvantaged municipalities may form a business corridor that encompasses the territory along their common border that is undeveloped or underdeveloped and would not be likely to be developed without the creation of the business corridor. The bill allows for property tax abatements for businesses locating within the business corridors.
New Coverage Mandates
P.A. 97-0091 (HB 1191) – Prohibits insurance companies from excluding coverage for related medical costs for patients participating in clinical cancer trials if the policy covers the same routine patient care for non-clinical trial services.
P.A. 97-0592 (SB 673) – Requires insurance companies to offer optional coverage or optional reimbursement of up to $500 annually for a tobacco use cessation program for enrollees aged 18 years or older.
P.A. 97-0198 (HB 1825) – Requires insurance companies to ensure that all applicable financial requirements and treatment limitations for intravenously administered or injected cancer medications are the same for prescribed orally-administered cancer medications.
Alternative Energy Supply for Residential Costumers
Residential energy customers in Illinois may soon have the ability to have their communities collectively bid for lower energy supplies. If a community passes a referendum allowing it, the municipality can “aggregate” (pool together) the residential and small business customers in their community and offer them as one group to an Alternative Retail Electricity Supplier (ARES). Since they can offer such a big group, the municipality can get a great deal from an ARES and save its citizens money on their electricity in 2012 and beyond.
Recycling of Electronics
Televisions, computers, cellphones, VCRs and other electronic devices are now banned from Illinois landfills and will not be accepted as garbage. Owners of these items will have to take them to local recycling facilities instead, or face potential fines. Other banned items include video game consoles, scanners, speakers, electronic keyboards, fax machines, printers, and DVD players.
Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation Projects
By authorizing public-private partnerships for the construction of new transportation infrastructure will allow Illinois to seek new sources of investment capital and more efficiently deliver infrastructure improvements. The state will issue RFQs and RFPs for public-private partnerships on infrastructure projects throughout Illinois which must be approved by the Illinois General Assembly.
215 E. Adams St.
Springfield, IL 62701
300 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60606