The proposed Illinois liquor taxes that would have increased taxes on wine and spirits nearly fifty percent was defeated. A leading Illinois industry member indicated that the tax increases would not go through. Initially the taxes were proposed as a way to pay for Governor J.B. Pritzker’s capital plan.

As I indicated early, if passed and signed by the governor, any law increasing liquor taxes this amount would have led to increased illegal activity and some businesses being taxed out of existence.

If this would have occurred, I think you may have seen a rolling back of the tax increase, similar to what occurred in Cook County with the soda tax that was increased and then roll backed when a public outcry developed.


So, what does the future hold?

This is not the end of a saga; Illinois is always behind in funding and faces massive pension deficits. Illinois never cuts spending and taxes its way out of everything. Expect to see the proposed tax increase again!

Even if the state never proposes a tax increase, we will definitely see the city and the county come up with proposals to increase liquor taxes.


What’s next?

The fight for sane policy will continue. The industry did a great job fighting the increase. The messaging I think of increased illegal activity and closure of businesses resonated with the political class. I personally communicated my message to friends on both sides of the aisle.

In the end, Illinois did the right thing, and although I don’t often agree with the state’s policy choices, this time they go it right!

I am glad to have lent a hand in this fight! Helping to keep small businesses open is worth fighting for!