State Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, passed legislation out of the House on Wednesday, with strong bipartisan support, requiring local governments to fully disclose taxpayer funded incentives in their budgets to increase transparency of the fiscal practices of local units of government.
“Too often, local governments do not count the incentives they have awarded as an actual cost, which does a disservice to taxpayers,” Franks said. “By requiring units of government to disclose theses incentives in their budgets, it will offer the public a greater understanding of the fiscal practices of their local elected officials.”
House Bill 3760 requires local governments to report the value of any tax incentive they have given as “community investment” on its annual financial reports. The bill also requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to report the total value of tax credits it has awarded in a given year to the Governor and the General Assembly by August 1st.
“Illinois residents need to know where and how their money is being spent, and this legislation will make that information more transparent,” Franks said. “Providing tax incentives can be good public policy, but it should be up to the taxpayers to determine if they are worthwhile.”