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Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois
Springfield, Illinois 62703
Philosophy of Organization
TFI, a 501(c)(4), is dedicated to the principle that an educated and well-informed public ensures better government. We are devoted to offering independent, nonpartisan research that presents reliable, objective analyses of government spending and tax policies. The Federation does not oppose all taxes, but is ever-present to ensure that taxes are fair, equitable, not excessive, and that governments are reasonable and efficient in the use of citizen’s tax dollars.
The Federation strives to not only help focus attention on problems, but also provide direction for their resolution in a positive and constructive manner. We believe in a “proactive” role in helping to shape the state’s tax laws, one that is best served by an even-handed approach to consensus and coalition building. The Federation is a watchdog for the largely hidden costs of government associated with debt obligations and pension funds, and alert to the inconspicuous rate adjustments which result in real estate tax increases. The Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois does not guarantee that every member will agree with each study, recommendation or legislative initiative it undertakes. Nevertheless, the membership can be confident that, year after year, the Federation will have a key role in shaping state and local tax policy, and continue to protect each type of taxpayers - whether a large corporation, a small business or an individual.
- County Government Law - A Reference Guide
- Practical Guide to Illinois Property Taxes - 2004 edition
- Taxation Without Explanation: The Illinois Property Tax System
- Tax Increment Financing in Illinois
- Illinois Tax Facts, an 8-page newsletter, is published approximately 4 times per year.
- TFI report from the Capitol is published weekly during the legislative session.
• Advocated substantial changes to the Cook County tax appeal process that give Cook County taxpayers the same rights of appeal granted to taxpayers across the state.
• Shepherded legislation to clarify the definition of real and personal property through successful passage in the state Senate and filed a legal brief in support of the appellate court decision against reclassification of property.
• Drafted modifications limiting the uses of the local government tort immunity fund by prohibiting the accumulation of excessive reserves in self-insurance funds and the levy or extension of additional property taxes if excessive reserves exist.
• Supported legislation establishing tax caps in the Collar Counties and Cook, as well as Downstate.
• Played a preeminent role in passage of the recodification of property tax laws.
• In the forefront of several income tax issues of importance, working on laws to encourage economic development and business expansion in Illinois.
• Initiated and advocated a change in the apportionment of income for the corporate income tax from a three-factor formula to a single sales factor.
• Helped alter penalty and interest assessments against taxpayers who inadvertently file late returns.
• Led the successful campaign for the establishment of an income tax refund account for both corporate and individual taxpayers.
• Initiated legislation establishing a research and development tax credit for qualified businesses and supported its extension.
Currently leading the legislative effort to recodify sales and use tax laws and simplify their application; clarified procedures relating to the administration of the Manufacturer’s Purchase Credit, thereby streamlining the process for taxpayers and the Department of Revenue; supported various machinery and equipment exemptions from the Illinois sales tax for several industries, including manufacturing, printing, food processing, farming, mineral extraction, refining, etc.; and spearheaded the review and realignment of state sales tax increment finance law.
Guided adoption of uniform penalty and interest provisions, which replaced a system that used six different interest rates and 30 penalties, with one using a single interest rate and seven penalties and helped implement numerous tax law changes through participation in the rulemaking process.
Public Utility Taxes
Supported a bill to make Illinois’ natural gas suppliers more competitive. Supported exclusion of state taxes and other add-ons from the base upon which municipal utility taxes are figured, and, chaired the Electric Utility Property Assessment Task Force, created by the General Assembly to examine the effects of electric utility deregulation on taxing districts containing power generating plants.
Corporate Franchise Tax
Spearheaded changes to the Business Corporation Act.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT TFI
“I have long supported meaningful property tax reform for Illinois Taxpayers, and believe the Federation’s efforts are critical to achieving that goal.”
- Former Governor Jim Edgar
“While we’re on the subject [of political accountability], we’d like to say a word for the Taxpayers’ Federation. The federation is a unique, nonpartisan and highly credible voice in Illinois that will need the business community’s strong continuing support...The federation’s strength is the high quality of its research, and its reputation for fairness.”
- Editorial in Crain’s Chicago