That's the number of jobs lost each time the state reduces general fund spending by just 1 percent, according to a new report by Make Wall Street Pay Illinois and the Alliance for a Just Society.
The four-page report, The Cost of Cuts in Illinois: Budget Cuts Hurt Families, Communities, and the Economy (PDF), found that thousands of lost jobs can be associated with cuts in state spending, which is only exacerbated by corporate tax breaks, like the recent ones given to the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the CME Group.
"Like with the tax giveaways to Sears and CME, we keep hurting both our tax base and our jobs base in Illinois," said David Hatch, executive director of IIRON, a member organization of Make Wall Street Pay Illinois. "Once and for all we must rid ourselves of this myth that tax breaks for the rich and big corporations create jobs."
The study found that both public and private sector job losses are associated with cuts in state spending, noting that African Americans and Latinos were most affected by the reduction in full-time work. Pointing out that the state has cut per capita general spending each year of the recession, the report indicated that any potential fiscal gain the state would have made in raising corporate taxes early last year was then undermined by corporate tax breaks, thereby allowing the state to slip deeper into debt and causing legislators to call for even more spending cuts.
"All indications are that there is a greater interest in Springfield in furthering corporate tax rollbacks rather than creating new revenue sources," reads a press release for the report.
Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is calling on legislators to pass a revenue package that "closes loopholes, stops
double dipping and raises revenue", adding that the General Assembly must turn down any requests for corporate tax breaks. The group is also calling on legislators to stop spending cuts that, they say, are leading to the loss of much-needed social services, like mental health care, youth programs, and homelessness prevention, at a time when they are in most demand.
“Governor Pat Quinn emphasized the need to create jobs in the State of the State address, but if he and the legislature agree to budget cuts, it will undermine any effort to create jobs,” said Rev. Marilyn Pagan-Banks, of Northside P.O.W.E.R., a group taking part in the Make Wall Street Pay Illinois collaborative.
Furthermore, the group would like to see the General Assembly pass legislation that would create more transparency when it comes to corporate taxes. Make Wall Street Pay Illinois would like to see Springfield legislators pass a bill that would create a system allowing Illinoisans to easily track and identify how much money each corporation paid the state in taxes.