sales tax /

Illinois continues to see big box stores close. That means lost jobs, less tax revenue and often empty store space.

Still, Joe Fackel – with the Canvass Group – says he’s optimistic about the future of retail. The city of Springfield recently hired his firm to look at vacant shopping space in the capital city.

NPR Illinois talked with Fackel about the retail trends he’s seeing.

Below is a lightly edited transcript.

NPR Illinois: What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

Public Domain

With the dysfunction in Illinois politics, state government this year is projected to spend as much as $13 billion more than it will collect in taxes. And the situation could be getting worse.


New projections show nibbling around the edges of the state’s budget problems will get Illinois nowhere. 

Illinois Issues: Legislative Checklist

Sep 15, 2016
Flickr user: Matt Turner

Gov. Bruce Rauner has taken action on hundreds of bills over the summer. He signed most of them into law, but he also made some high-profile vetoes. 

Rep. Will Guzzardi
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House passed a measure Thursday to removes sales tax on feminine hygiene products sold in the state.

Income tax space on a Monopoly game board

Commentary — Let’s be blunt: Illinois needs higher taxes.

That statement might come as a shock to citizens under the illusion that all would be well, if state leaders would just cut all the wasteful spending out of the state budget. 

Illinois Department of Revenue

Almost every time House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks to the press lately, he says that the state's estimated $6 billion deficit cannot be addressed through cuts alone.

Il Chamber

  A leading business group is hinting that it could loosen  its stance on opposition to a service tax.

During the campaign, Governor Bruce Rauner proposed a tax on certain services as a possible way to raise money.   The state Chamber of Commerce is gauging its members on what they could support when it comes to revenue for the state.

Matthew Penning

Amazon has announced it will open facilities in Illinois, saying it will bring 1,000 jobs to the state. That announcement was made Tuesday. But what does it really mean for the state when it comes to jobs, as well as taxes for consumers? Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn has been following the online retailer and its relationship with the state for years now (read a past report here). She joins us for this interview:

End and Means: Illinois Should Examine Its Revenue Structure

Feb 1, 2014
Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Has the time come to overhaul Illinois’ venerable (outdated?) revenue structure?

The question is more than academic, given the daunting challenge for Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly to craft a balanced budget for next fiscal year with some $2 billion less in receipts due to the partial rollback of the 2011 income tax increase.

Jamey Dunn headshot 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

A year after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill aimed at collecting sales tax from online retailers, the state is still struggling to get revenues from sellers such as, and it seems that Illinois and other states may be out of luck until a federal solution can be found. 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that states could not make businesses outside of their borders collect tax on purchases made by state residents. But if a business has a brick and mortar presence in a state, such as a store, it must collect state taxes on catalog and Internet sales in the state, too. 

One Illinois business intends to leave the state before a new plan to collect taxes on Internet sales takes effect in July. “I don’t have a choice,” says Tim Storm, chief executive officer of FatWallet, an Internet marketing company. “It’s a situation where I can’t take a hit on 40 percent of our revenue and continue to operate in the state of Illinois.”

  The idea of the state charging a sales tax on a whole range of services, such as auto repairs, dry cleaning and haircuts, was a nonstarter in the late 1980s. Brought up again in recent years, it’s been brushed aside in the legislature session after session — until last spring when Illinois faced a record-breaking budget shortfall of more than $11 billion.