While lawmakers are making deep cuts in the state’s budget in order to continue providing vital state services, taxpayers continue to subsidize a multi-billion dollar coal industry.
“The Impact of Coal on the Illinois State Budget” (download here) examined all of the revenues the state generates from the coal industry, while taking into account all expenditures. The conclusions are startling, showing that:
Coal industry tax breaks and direct grants cost the Illinois state budget $19.8 million in Fiscal Year 2011
Coal mining provides fewer than 4,000 jobs in Illinois – with those jobs requiring $4.4 million of State support
Illinois is one of the only states giving out-of-state companies a free pass on common sense sales and export taxes, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill on impacts to water supplies, damaged farmland, and public health
Research shows that coal mining plays a very small role in the Illinois economy, representing only 0.3% of private industry economic activity in 2010.
Balancing the budget means cutting loopholes and inefficient spending, while investing in education, job training, and infrastructure that drives the other 99.7% of economic activity.
Rather than give a free ride to out-of-state companies, legislators can ensure that they pay their fair share – collecting common sense funds to balance our finances and redirecting them to job creating projects that strengthen communities and help Illinois’ hard-working families get ahead.