Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rep. Sacia and the GRT

One of the best things about the Legislature is that you have 177 men and women who bring a wide range of life experiences to the process, which is essential to the notion of a representative democracy.

If you know Rep. Jim Sacia, you may know that he is a former FBI agent, a man of integrity, and a man not prone to hyperbole. What you may not know, and I didn't know until speaking with him last night, is that he is also a business owner, selling farm equipment. The point of this is that he brings a unique first-hand perspective to the debate about the Governor's GRT proposal.

The following is a letter from Rep. Sacia to the Governor, which I believe is also going to be published by the Chicago Sun-Times. No rhetoric, no posturing, just one man's story, and one worth hearing.
April 12, 2007

Dear Governor:

In 1997 my wife, my son, and I started a farm equipment business against all logic in the world. “Ag is a faltering economy” I was told. We asked for no perks, we struggled and we made it go. Today we provide fourteen good jobs and each employee is making between $26,000 and $60,000 per year. Each get their health insurance paid and fifty percent of their dependent’s paid. Each has a 401K plan. Not a bad place to work.

Last year our sales were $5.2 million and our bottom line was $32,000 in the black. That makes me a “corporate fat cat” according to you Governor. Why do we do this when the GRT will take that bottom line plus thousands more?

Here’s a promise Governor, I won’t do it next year if this tax is imposed. (You just lost $200,000 in sales tax.) Northern Illinois Tractor and Equipment (NITE) will become Southern Wisconsin Tractor & Equipment.

Very truly yours,

Jim Sacia

State Representative

Discuss as you see fit.


At April 25, 2007 at 11:09 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Well, maybe a little posturing...

Still has a point, though. The "fat cats" talking point is some phony faux-populism.

At April 26, 2007 at 12:52 PM, Blogger Bill said...

I wonder if Jim's "bottom line" which he refers to ($32,000)includes the salaries he pays to "himself, his wife, and son", the expenses for the cars that they drive, their benefits, and the other perks that they as owners recieve.
Has Jim calculated what his tax bill might be under the current 750 proposal? What will happen to him if the GA closes corporate loopholes? Has he checked out the tax liability he will accrue in Wisconsin?
I doubt it. If he has and he still wants to move I say he can hit the road.If he does, he'll be out of business in less than a year. Wisconsin is a high tax state. Illinois is currently a very low tax state.
The GRT, with its low rate and broad base, is the least regressive and most fair of any tax proposal currently being considered.
If it passes, Jim could survive by cutting expenses and passing a small amount on to his customers who probably would not travel to Wisconsin to but their new tractor.

At April 26, 2007 at 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always amazes me when goverment officials, whether they are legislators, commissioners or agency directors, make statements that show they don't even understand our laws. I am no expert on the Illinois Revenue Code but I am pretty sure Illinois will still be collecting most of that $200,000 in sales tax. If the end user is from Illinois, Scacia will still have to collect that tax and pay it to Illinois. If not, the end-user would be liable to pay a USE TAX on the item. Out-of- state customers are not paying our sales tax now so IL wouldn't be collecting it from them anyway.
I'm am sure we don't want to lose those jobs but I don't think using the sales tax argument is a good one for a representative to make.

At April 26, 2007 at 5:47 PM, Blogger Levois said...

Hmm an interesting letter. I couldn't possibly expect this from a public official. This is just me saying that.

We now know that this proposed tax-fairness plan is going to affect a lot of people even those who are going to vote on it.

At April 27, 2007 at 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

obviously "Bill" has done little research on this tax. The pyramiding of the tax alone could destroy his own profitability. And if he doesn't think a farmer will cross any stateline to save money then he has never talked to one. And this includes more than just equipment. In other words just that industry alone loses tons of jobs and future tax money.


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