A tax proposal in Illinois may cause the price of a new pair of shoes go up. One lawmaker believes the increase could help at risk youth in our state
Like many not for profits, the national 'YouthBuild Coalition' has seen its share of funding issues in the past decade.
Eight YouthBuild locations recently closed in the state, and only 17 percent of the 300 yearly Rockford applicants get into the program.
"I've been in the program since September," says Tiffany Roberts.
Roberts is proud of her most recent achievement through YouthBuild, a training certificate. She says she is grateful for the opportunities the program gives her.
"People join so they can get their education, they can teach you how to get a job, learn construction, learn construction work, academics," she says.
Illinois YouthBuild president Kerry Knodle explains, For people like Tiffany, the organization can change the course of a young person's life. "So the motivation isn't just 'let's pile a bunch of money somewhere and hope that it goes for a good cause.' The idea is, this is a tried and true program that does need to be expanded. look at the numbers of 16-24 year olds, low income, out of school youth in Illinois, it's in the millions."
Democratic Representative Will Davis is proposing the shoe tax, along with several other options. Knodle explains, nothing is set in stone yet. "For now until the governor's budget address, that is when we're doing our due diligence and working with representative Davis and the general assembly to look at what's gonna be the best method. it may or may not be an athletic shoe tax, it may or may not be any new revenue, it may be simply reorganizing existing revenue."
If the shoe tax is chosen as the best option, you would see a price increase of about 25 cents on a new pair of shoes.