Faced with some of the toughest challenges in memory, if businesses are going to survive, we must, together, prepare for the expected battles ahead.
No one knows Illinois retail law better than IRMA and no one knows the needs of Illinois retailers better than Illinois retailers. When these two groups come together, the retail environment is empowered and improved. With more bills introduced in Illinois’ General Assembly that affect the retail environment each year, it is crucial that the State’s retail community be locally represented, informed and engaged in decisions that directly impact their bottom line.
While Federal initiatives may receive more attention, the vast majority of legislative activity takes place at the state level.
Bills Introduced Since 2000
IRMA benefits Illinois retailing through effective engagement with retailers, the general public, policy makers, and the media regarding the impact legislative and regulatory proposals will have on the success of retail operations. As your voice in the Capitol, Chicago City Hall, Cook County Board Chambers, and regulatory agencies across the state, IRMA closely monitors legislative and regulatory activity, voicing opposition to anti-business proposals and supporting business friendly initiatives.
Further, Illinois has a higher passage rate than federal laws, placing a higher emphasis on the need to monitor state laws.
Bill Passage Rate
Given the uniquely diverse scope of retailing, as well as the complexities of our state, the issue areas impacted by state and local regulations are astounding. At the close of the 99th General Assembly, 2015-2016, there were over 15,000 bills, amendments, and resolutions filed in the state and over 10,000 ordinance proposals, amendments, and resolutions filled at the Chicago City Council. Each legislative introduction and amendment was read and carefully analyzed by IRMA staff. Below are just a few of our recent significant wins.
Vendor Collection Allowance
IRMA preserved the vendor collection allowance which allows all collectors and remitters of the state’s sales tax to keep 1.75% of the amount collected as a fee for tax collection services. Every year, there is an attempt to decrease or completely eliminate this fee for service. IRMA has single-handedly prevented this from happening.
In 2015, as in past years, IRMA defeated an effort to weaken retail theft laws that protect consumers, businesses and employees alike while providing for swifter and more equitable resolution for alleged offenders. IRMA stalled an initiative to increase the retail threshold from $300 to $500. Increasing the threshold for retail theft only incentives additional crime that puts employees, consumers, and businesses at risk.
Family Leave Insurance Program Act
IRMA protected employers, employees, and the State of Illinois by leading a coalition that defeated a proposed family leave insurance mandate. The Family Leave Insurance Program Act would have required employers to deduct an insurance tax from an employee’s paycheck which would reduce employees’ paychecks by a total of 24.4% including current state and federal taxes.
Bad Debt Refund
IRMA was instrumental in passing legislation creating and preserving the right of retailers to receive a refund of “bad debt” from the Illinois Department of Revenue on their issued Private Label Credit Cards administered by third parties. With this change, retailers are allowed a refund of taxes paid on purchases for which they never received payment. This change provides millions of dollars for Illinois retailers.