2022 State Agenda

The Chamber’s Government Relations team is actively pursuing a statewide, pro-growth policy agenda in Springfield. During the 2022 Illinois legislative session, the Chamber will be advocating for Chicagoland businesses of all sizes and industries on topics including property tax, tax credits, and employer protections.

Cook County Property Tax Assessment Reform

In 2021, the City of Chicago was re-assessed as part of the 3-year assessment cycle undertaken in Cook County. The Cook County Assessor’s Office produced record-high assessment increases on commercial properties throughout the City. It was not uncommon for independent, mom-and-pop shops to see assessment increases of over 80%. For a business owner that was forced to shut down in 2020, and continues to endure pandemic-related challenges, this level of increase will be a complete shock to the system in one-years’ time. That is why the Chamber is putting forth reasonable assessment limits on residential and commercial properties in Cook County, directing the IDOR to study the fairness of the assessment process, and calling for public input when significant assessment changes are considered by the County Assessor, such as the ill-timed and wrong COVID-19 property tax factor.

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Growing the Film Industry and Its Workforce

The Chamber is leading a broad coalition of over 50 organizations across the film industry, labor, and education sector to introduce legislation that will lead to immediate growth in Illinois’ burgeoning film industry and its workforce. Our legislation would modestly expand the Film Production Tax Credit to (i) allow for non-resident wages to qualify for the credit (bringing the Illinois incentive in line with many other similar tax credit programs in other states), (ii) create more long-term confidence in the program by making the credit permanent, and (iii) establish an Illinois Production Workforce Development Fund (funded entirely by the industry) designed to issue grants to benefit minority-owned organizations and foster a more diverse industry workforce in Illinois.

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BIPA Employer Protection Reform

In 2008, the General Assembly unanimously created the Biometric Information Privacy Act (also known as BIPA) to regulate the collection of biometric information. Unchanged since 2008 despite the vastly different digital realities we live in today, this consumer protection law has created incredibly burdensome restrictions on even routine employer practices and a predatory civil action frenzy that has resulted in over 1,000 class action lawsuits since 2019 alone. In most cases, the defendant/employer (made up of companies of every size and industry) has been sued for inadvertent violations of the Act. That is why the Chamber is urging members of the GA to enact modern, common-sense reforms to BIPA, which would (i) allow for reasonable uses of biometric information for record-keeping, timekeeping, HR, and security purposes, (ii) create sensible liability protections for employers following the law in good-faith, and (iii) update the law to allow for new safety technologies to be introduced in Illinois.

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EDGE Tax Credit Sunset Extension and Modernization

The EDGE Tax Credit program, which is the state’s primary economic development tool for local communities, is scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2022. Just like in 2017, the Chamber is hoping to use this opportunity to make necessary enhancements to the Program, including (i) extending the life of the credit by 10 years to create greater certainty in the Program, (ii) create parity between “job retention” and “job creation,” (iii) make the EDGE credit transferable to maximize the value of the credit, (iv) allow for a higher credit amount to be utilized by industries operating in high-need communities and most impacted by the pandemic, and (v) reinstate the Business Location Efficiency Incentive Act to foster projects in areas that have accessible mass transit and affordable housing.

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Minimum Wage Small Business Tax Credit Increase

In 2019, the General Assembly passed a minimum wage increase that incrementally raises the State minimum wage to $15 by 2025. At the time, legislators sought to ease the burden on small businesses (with 50 or less employees) by creating a partial tax credit that would gradually phase-out by 2025. Unfortunately, it was impossible for the GA to foresee the vast impacts of the pandemic on those same small businesses, many of which closed and many more of which continue to struggle today. That is why the Chamber, along with over 50 other local chambers representing every corner of the State, is asking that the “Small Business Minimum Wage Tax Credit” to reset it to its 2020 level (of 25% of the difference in the increase of the minimum wage for that year) for three years. Currently, the credit is set to 17%, and will decrease next year to only 13%, and 9% in 2024.

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