Illinois Considers Tax On Speculative Trading

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Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

Election Returns

SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) - Illinois lawmakers are being asked to consider what a proponent calls a “silver bullet” solution to the state’s financial problems.

Advocate Rich Whitney told a House committee the answer could be a 0.01 percent sales tax on speculative trading.

“While even the most indigent persons in Illinois must pay regressive sales taxes upwards of 6 percent on many necessities,” Whitney said, “the wealthy purchasers who literally spend trillions of dollars on options on futures, credit default swaps, and other derivatives do not pay any sales tax whatsoever on sales that occur at these Illinois facilities,” specifically, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Whitney, a two-time Green Party candidate for governor, says the plan would generate $40 billion a year, adding that’s a conservative estimate, even accounting for any lost business chased away by the tax.

The bill is H.B. 1554.

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