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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 1999

RYAN SUPPORTS EFFORTS TO EXEMPT HOLOCAUST VICTIMS' REPARATION PAYMENTS FROM STATE TAXES

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan today announced his support of efforts to exempt the survivors and heirs of the victims of the Holocaust from paying state taxes on reparation payments.

Ryan signed Executive Order 14 to seek exclusion from state taxes for survivor and heirs of the holocaust reparation payments. "Illinois taxpayers, who are entitled to reparation because they were victimized by Nazis during the Holocaust, should not have those reparations diminished by taxation," Ryan said. "While no amount of monetary damage can fully compensate victims, I encourage the payment of reparation to all Illinoisans who qualify as victims or heirs."

Ryan made his statement at the annual tribute dinner of the American Association of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev held Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel at 151 E. Wacker Drive.

Rep. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Wilmette) introduced legislation to exempt reparations of Holocaust survivors, but the bill did not pass the General Assembly. Ryan said it is unknown how many Illinoisans would be entitled to reparation.

The order states: "The Illinois Department of Revenue shall work to interpret all relevant State laws, federal laws and treaties in a consistent manner so as to exclude from Illinois income taxation reparations payable to holocaust victims to the greatest extent possible, consistent with its duties to enforce the law.

"Be it further ordered that, if the Illinois Department of Revenue should determine that some future reparations payable to holocaust victims are not clearly excluded from Illinois income taxation, the Illinois Department of Revenue shall propose the necessary legislation to clearly exclude such reparations from taxation."

At the tribute dinner ceremony, the University honored Governor and Mrs. Ryan by naming one of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev dormitories in the Governor's honor. During the program at the Hyatt, a drawing of the newly-designed dormitory was unveiled.

"I am grateful for this award and for your expression of appreciation for my efforts," Ryan said. "Knowing that my name and the state of Illinois will grace a building at the Ben-Gurion University in Israel is very special and very meaningful to me. Words cannot express my humble gratitude," he said.

###

EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 14 (1999)

AN EXECUTIVE ORDER CONCERNING PAYMENTS OF REPARATIONS TO VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST AND THEIR HEIRS

WHEREAS, there is a growing awareness on the part of citizens throughout the world of the moral obligation to make reparations to victims of the holocaust;

WHEREAS, the people of the State of Illinois are aware that no amount of monetary damages can fully compensate the holocaust victims, and they encourage and approve the payment of reparations;

WHEREAS, Illinois taxpayers who are entitled to (1) distributions because of their status as victims of persecution for ethnic, racial or religious reasons by Nazi Germany and any other Axis regime or heirs of such victims, and (2) any increase in value of assets from the time such assets were stolen from, hidden from or otherwise lost to victims of persecution, or monetary compensation in lieu of the assets, should not have those reparations be diminished by State income taxation;

WHEREAS, the governments of the United States and of the Federal Republic of Germany, in their income tax treaty of 1989, have recognized that governments should not diminish the amount of reparations payable to holocaust victims by subjecting reparations to income taxation; and

WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service has historically interpreted provisions of the Internal Revenue Code in such a manner so as to exclude from taxation reparations payable to holocaust victims to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the law;

THEREFORE, I, George H. Ryan, hereby order the following:

The Illinois Department of Revenue shall work to interpret all relevant State laws, federal laws and treaties in a consistent manner so as to exclude from Illinois income taxation reparations payable to holocaust victims to the greatest extent possible, consistent with its duties to enforce the law.

Be it further ordered that, if the Illinois Department of Revenue should determine that some future reparations payable to holocaust victims are not clearly excluded from Illinois income taxation, the Illinois Department of Revenue shall propose the necessary legislation to clearly exclude such reparations from taxation.

This Executive Order Number 14 (1999) shall be effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.

__________________________________
GEORGE H. RYAN
Governor

June 24, 1999


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