This summer, self-storage operators in Illinois helped to stall a bill that would add a retail/service tax to storage-unit rentals. In a statewide campaign, the Illinois Self Storage Association (ILSSA) reached out to facility operators, asking them to contact legislators and voice opposition to the bill. It also encouraged operators to have their tenants fill out a special card that was mailed to legislators, asking them to avoid this level of taxation.
House Bill 174 would amend the Illinois Income Tax Act but include a sales tax on self-storage and other services. The bill narrowly passed the Senate, where four amendments were added, including the one taxing self-storage. While the House concurred on the changes, it did not vote on the bill. ILSSA attributes this lack of legislative action to the amount of opposition rallied in the state.
ILSSA also believes the General Assembly will take up the taxation banner in January 2010. “With a $9 billion dollar deficit, lawmakers will be forced to do something,” wrote ILSSA president Tom Drake in a message to association members. “Taxing services like self-storage is, for many legislators, a slippery slope, and most will likely not want to go there. However, in Illinois politics, we must understand that as long as a bill has a pulse, we must watch it very carefully.”
ILSSA intends to revive its call to action if it hears grumblings about taxing services during the October veto session.