Lang’s Jobs Task Force Wants to Kill Truck Fee; Redo EPA E-Waste Rules that Trip Up Motorola; Boost Business Micro-loans

Illinois truck regisrations have dropped since 2003.

(Chicago, IL) – July 13, 2010. Illinois truck registration fees are currently $1,400 more than the average of states surrounding Illinois, in part, because of a special $400 fee imposed by the state legislature in 2003, and a new legislative panel report now recommends abolishing the fee.

“Truck registration fees are driving down truck registrations compared to the increases seen in the states that surround Illinois and, ultimately, driving business away from Illinois,” said Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie), Chairman of the House Bipartisan Jobs Creation Task Force.

Lang estimates that if Illinois kept up with the national average, it would have 35,653 more trucks than today’s current count of 163,453.

Using the 163,453 trucks that were registered in Illinois in 2008 versus 175,064 in 2003, a repeal of the Commercial Distribution Fee would cost the state approximately $65,381,200, Lang says.

“If Illinois sees a growth of approximately only 23,426 trucks, the elimination will be revenue neutral, but will create a substantial number of new Illinois jobs,” said Lang. “The task force proposes to eliminate the Commercial Distribution Fee on intra-state operators which is approximately $400 a truck.”

In contrast, Indiana had 94,068 truck registrations in 2003 and 201,848 in 2008.

In addition to truck fees, Lang’s task force, which included 54 House lawmakers and held public hearings Chicago, Decatur, Rockford, Naperville, Palatine, and Springfield during the spring, lays out multiple job creation and business boosting initiatives, including reigning in environmental regulations that are undermining its own objectives.

Lang cited the case of Motorola. At a hearing, Motorola pointed to the recent Illinois E-Waste law in which Motorola was initially provided with a recycling letter of exemption, but was hit with demands from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency which undermined its e-waste recycling.  Although Motorola had been recycling these materials well before the passage of the Illinois law, the administrative and auditing requirements made the program cost-prohibitive.

“The unintended consequences of the law stifled the very practice the law was designed to encourage and represents an area in which the implementation has been inconsistent,” said Lang.

“The task force proposes to make the new e-waste regulations pertaining to the management of the proper disposal and recycling of materials used in technology products, such as cell phones.”

Lang also noted that the financial crises has stifled community bank and credit union lending to startup entrepreneurs and small businesses, but a new program, proposed by State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, whereby the state would act as the guarantor for qualified small business loans issued by community banks and credit unions could boost business.

“The program would provide a 10%-20% state guarantee for loans to small businesses that could not otherwise be secured through traditional financing,” said Lang. “This 2-year pilot loan program is designed to bridge the gap between loans from family and friends and traditional SBA loans.”

Lang assured that to minimize the state’s financial exposure, both interest and fees would be charged and set aside as an insurance fund.

“Illinois needs to be creative to help businesses get the credit they need to create jobs,” said Lang.

The full report can be found at: http://www.housedem.state.il.us/index2.htm

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