Illinois Tries to Tax Outsiders
August 4, 2008
John Nordloh (“Government should look to Internet for tax solutions,” Chicago Tribune, July 7) suggests raising revenues for the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois by taxing out-of-state businesses. He claims the new policy is only fair, as it will put all “transactions on the same ‘tax’ playing field.” Unfortunately, Nordloh misses the point.
Taxation is not about leveling the playing field, but rather paying for public services. Public education, libraries, police protection, and courts are financed with tax dollars. These services are not used by out-of-state businesses.
Roads, on the other hand, are used to deliver goods across state lines. However, gas taxes are collected roughly in proportion to the amount of road use and provide for the maintenance of state roads.
Raising revenues by taxing entrepreneurs in other states is unfair; it allows Illinois residents to consume public services paid for by residents in other states. And since Buckeyes and Hoosiers are not represented in the Illinois General Assembly, it is a modern case of taxation without representation.