Naperville builder argues that home repair tax goes against people's will
Pete Stefani sees only bad outcomes from a proposed home repair tax that is part of Senate Bill 9.
“Not only would it have dire consequences for an industry that has never fully recovered from its hard times, it would lead to people not making repairs to their homes or doing the things that preserve their communities,” the president of King's Court Builders in Naperville told the DuPage Policy Journal. “It’s just a bad idea from top to bottom.”
Stefani recently expounded on his views in an opinion piece for a local newspaper in which he deemed the proposed 6.25 percent tax on home repair services a “500-page expansion of taxation.”
Besides taxing the home repair industry, SB9 would also impose the same tax on the dry cleaning and storage facilities industries, among others.
Stefani pointed to estimates put forth by home builders groups that show the loss of at least 521 industry jobs across the state and a $47 million decline in home repair and maintenance work if the measure becomes law.
“We’re only talking about generating somewhere in the neighborhood of around $50-$60 million from this,” Stefani said. “You compare that to the $560 million projections that are out there based on the penny-per-ounce soda tax that’s been talked about, and this makes even less sense from a practical standpoint.”
A poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research (ALG) also found that 72 percent of voters prefer a sugary drink tax to a home repair tax.
“The will of the people seems to mean nothing up against all the soda industry lobbyists that were in lawmakers' ears once that tax was proposed,” Stefani said.
But Stefani and members of the Home Builders Association insist they’re not about to just walk away and traveled to Springfield to raise their concerns with lawmakers.
“With the state being in the financial shape that it is, I may even be open to paying more in personal taxes,” Stefani said. “But for lawmakers to even be considering imposing a sales tax at such a sensitive time for the industry... ."
The home repair tax bill was introduced by Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields), who has defended it as a way to help get the state out of a budget deficit that has now swelled to as much as $13 billion.