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Foster Wants To Shed Light On Illinois' 'Payer State Problem'

Feb 9, 2015
In The News

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) wants to raise awareness about the "problem" of Illinois being a "payer state."

"In a typical year, $20 billion leaves Illinois because we are a 'payer state' that pays $1.36 in federal taxes for every dollar of federal spending returned to the state," reads a news release from Foster's office. "In fact, according to figures compiled by the Pew Charitable Trust, Illinois receives the third smallest amount of federal spending per-capita in the country."

The congressman and U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ,5) jointly introduced the "Payer State Transparency Act of 2015," which is designed to "shed light on this problem" of "payer states" versus "taker states" by requiring data collection as well as an annual report "that shows the effect of legislation on the state-by-state balance of payments," the release says.

"As a businessman who co-founded a manufacturing company, I understand the financial drag that federal Payer State policies put on companies that are committed to keeping good jobs here," Foster said in a statement. "As the Representative of Illinois' 11th District in the U.S. Congress, I recognize the burden it places on middle-class families, and the tragic underinvestment in physical and human capital driven by the fact that Illinois is a Payer State. I've introduced the Payer State Transparency Act to develop a clear picture of how big this problem really is and to find ways to make sure Illinois taxpayers are getting their fair share.

"While the entire country is governed by the same federal tax code, the per-capita tax burden and the corporate tax burden vary substantially between states," he added. "Furthermore, many states get much more back in federal spending than others. This transfer of wealth from the 'Payer States' to the 'Taker States' inevitably shows up as higher state taxes, higher government debt, and underinvestment in education, infrastructure and health care in the 'Payer States.'"