Longtime Joliet dry cleaner can't fathom McGuire's support of new tax
John Conway has spent three decades in the dry-cleaning industry, but if Senate Bill 9 becomes law, his next move might be either partial closure or leaving Illinois, he told the Will County Gazette.
“I may consider closing the retail part of my business down and moving the other operations out of Illinois to Indiana,” Conway, who owns Suede Cleaner in Joliet, which he described as one of the largest in the state, said. "Our industry is struggling enough. With the specialty work we do, most of our business comes from other stores, but I’ve talked to other area people in the business and they all say this tax will be devastating for them.”
SB9, which passed the Senate on May 10, would extend a 6.25 percent sales tax on dry cleaning and other services like tattoos and piercings. It would also push up the personal income tax rate to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and the corporate income tax rate to 7 percent from 5.25 percent.
Conway is even more frustrated by the fact that Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) voted for the measure.
“I don’t understand any of his policies,” he said. “Here in downtown Joliet, the area is blue collar with not a lot of money and plenty of senior citizen and Section 8 housing. Customers are already complaining about prices, and this stands to just make things harder.”
The House had until Wednesday to also accept or reject SB9 before the spring legislative session ended.
SB 9 is expected to generate approximately $5.4 million in new revenue, all of it earmarked to go toward filling the $37.3 billion spending plan Dems also passed earlier this month.
Fitch Ratings has warned Illinois that it faces the prospect of having its tarnished credit rating furthered diminished if a budget agreement is not reached by the July 1 start of the new budget year.