By Associated Press - Thursday, March 31, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - In a story on March 29 about legislation that would allow Illinois municipalities to share financial data with third-party vendors, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the National Conference of State Legislatures opposed the bill. NCSL spokesman Mick Bullock said the group has no official position on the legislation.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Illinois legislation would let cities share taxpayer data

Legislation is pending in Springfield that would let cities share sensitive financial data with third parties vendors hired to track uncollected taxes

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Legislation is pending in Springfield that would let Illinois municipalities share sensitive financial data with third-party vendors hired to track uncollected taxes.

Democratic state Sen. Michael Hastings of Tinley Park introduced the measure to encourage these business relations, which can be more cost-effective, and are utilized by Springfield and other cities to track revenue owed to them.

“We don’t want to limit business with third parties who use this information to determine what a town is entitled to,” Hastings said. “(Alternatives) could cause villages to increase staff or go to another agency, which could be a longer process and cost more.”

Under current state law, only certain city employees are allowed to access taxpayers’ financial information, such as taxpayer identification numbers.

The Illinois Department of Revenue is concerned that the companies won’t adhere to state and local privacy standards if they’re granted access to financial data, the (Springfield) State Journal-Register ( reported.

To prevent misuse, the bill includes provisions that would require companies to abide by local rules, to enter into a confidentiality agreement with the revenue department and to have an existing contract with the municipality before it could receive any information.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce president Todd Maisch said he opposes the legislation because individuals could be at risk for harassment or intrusion into their personal lives.

“Just on principle, we think that tax information is among the most sensitive information businesses and individuals possess, and it is not to be shared,” he said.

Other opponents of the bill include the Council on State Taxation, the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, the American Institute of CPAs and the Tax Executives Institute, according to the state Department of Revenue.

The bill is assigned to the Revenue Committee.

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