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*** UPDATED x1 *** Illinois snags Indiana company

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011

* If nothing else, the corporate tax cut bill raids Indiana

An Indiana-based maker of automobile replacement parts is one step closer to receiving a tax incentives package worth $3.5 million over 10 years that would see the company move its corporate headquarters to Illinois.

UCI International Inc. is the latest in a growing number of companies seeking a special break in exchange for jobs. The company was added last week to a bill aimed at keeping Sears Holdings Corp. and CME Group Inc. from exiting the state. The Illinois House approved the tax-break package Monday. The Senate is expected to consider it Tuesday.

Look, I’m no fan of these cross-border raids, but I’m really getting tired of Indiana and other states bad-mouthing Illinois and attempting to steal our companies.

A buddy of mine had an interesting suggestion yesterday. Every time one of these states tries to lure a company out of Illinois, we ought to go after one of that state’s biggest companies with everything we have. In other words, the “Chicago Way.” Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, fellas.

We might not have to do that too many times before other states get the message: Lay the heck off.

For instance, how about we make an offer on the Indianapolis Colts? The team sucks this year, but they’ll improve when their quarterback returns. We could move it to Arlington Heights in exchange for no slots at tracks. And then we could grab the Pacers and move them to the Metro East or the STAR Bonds district in Marion. St. Louis has no basketball team, so let’s get one and grab another state’s money in the process.

OK, that was mostly snark. But, seriously, we can’t just sit by and allow ourselves to be hammered like this. Repealing the tax increase would cost too much money and put the state in an even deeper fiscal hole. Maybe it’s time to fight fire with an even bigger fire as well as reforming some business laws.

* Back to the tax cut package stories

The Illinois House approved a package of tax relief on Monday for families and businesses, including some big names like Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that are threatening to leave the state.

When fully phased in, the tax cuts would cost state government roughly $320 million a year. Chicago-based financial exchanges operated by CME Group Inc. and CBOE Holding Corp. would get about $85 million of that tax relief. Sears Holdings Corp. would get about $15 million.

Those companies have warned that they might move their operations to other states unless Illinois offers them incentives to stay.

During the debate, protesters unfurled a banner saying “Stop Corporate Extortion.” They were soon led out of the House chamber and discussion of the bills resumed.

* Illinois Statehouse News has video of the protesters

*** UPDATE *** Here’s a much better video posted by the occupiers

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* The view from Indianapolis

The Illinois House approved tax breaks for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Monday in a move that could cut short its parent company’s talks with outside suitors, including Downtown Indianapolis and Carmel.

It was CME Group Inc., after all, that made noises about relocating most of its highly paid 2,000 employees to another state after the House initially voted down a similar measure last month.

Still, the Indianapolis mayor’s office is watching the developments closely until any possibility of a move is off the table.

* The view from Mark Brown

Don’t let them fool you. This is the haves getting more and the have-a-littles paying for it.

* The view from D300

Also, local governments — such as Community Unit District 300 in Carpentersville — would get about double the property taxes they now get from the deal, and Hoffman Estates wouldn’t be allowed to use its share to run or pay for the Sears Centre.

“This is a bittersweet victory for us,” said District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy, who was in Springfield Monday. He noted that while the school district will get more money under the plan the House approved, it wasn’t as much as he wanted.

“We were able to negotiate the best possible deal,” Bregy said.

* The Republicans

Thirty-nine Republicans supported the [corporate tax cut] plan after accounting for only one of the eight votes on Nov. 29.

“It’s not a break. It’s not a credit. The reality is they’re being taxed on all of their trades, and that’s not fair. That’s not right,” House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) said of CME, whose trades are taxed by Illinois whether they occur in or out of the state. […]

House Republicans were mostly missing in action on the other piece of the tax-relief package that passed 67-49. It would double the earned income tax credit available to the working poor and increase the standard exemption for all taxpayers by tying it to the rate of inflation.

* The Senate

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno, of Lemont, each are optimistic the provisions will win Senate approval on Tuesday, according to their respective aides.

The measures are nearly identical to those of a single, overarching package that received bipartisan support in the Senate late last month, only to be shot down in the House.

“We had agreement about what was put into one proposition and we hope there will be the same level (of) support,” said John Patterson, a spokesman for Cullerton.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


30 Comments
  1. - Still Laughing - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:00 am:

    How about a discount on Illinois residents doing business with the corps being given the tax breaks? Oh, I’m sorry - that action is already spoken for via campaign contributions.


  2. - Dirt Digger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:10 am:

    So at the most generous estimate the tax package saved 22,400 jobs, or 0.4 percent of total private IL payrolls.

    In exchange for which we are spending a total of $320 million per year, or 0.6 percent of total direct state revenue.

    A net loss, but not outrageously so.


  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:28 am:

    –Look, I’m no fan of these cross-border raids, but I’m really getting tired of Indiana and other states bad-mouthing Illinois and attempting to steal our companies.

    –A buddy of mine had an interesting suggestion yesterday. Every time one of these states tries to lure a company out of Illinois, we ought to go after one of that state’s biggest companies with everything we have. In other words, the “Chicago Way.” Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, fellas.–

    I’m with you. We’ve lived in anxious times since the Masters of the Universe recklessly crashed the world economy.

    But instead of pulling together, soberly facing the issues and going forward, a loud and ignorant contingent of the body politic has been at work running down the American way and trying to steal from their neighbors. See you in church.

    The inbred-cousin responses of the Daniels and Walkers of the world has been pathetic and shameful. And that’s the A-Team of the national GOP.

    Do any of those yabbos really want to compare the economies of Indiana and Wisconsin to Illinois? It’s a joke.

    Fortunew 500 HQs:

    Illinois: 31 (only New York, Cally and Texas have more).

    Indiana: 5

    Wisconsin: 9

    GDP, and rank:

    Illinois: $644B, 5

    Indiana: $267B, 16

    Wisconsin: $251B, 20

    Anyone from Illinois who wants to seek greener pastures in Indiana and Wisconsin, please do so. Heck, let’s pay moving expenses. Anyone that dumb is obviously a drag on the rest of us out there hustling to make a buck.


  4. - Left Out - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:29 am:

    The big question about the tax breaks is where the money to pay for them will come from. Last years income tax increase has all been spent. Next years estimated revenue increase all needs to go for the current year pension cost increase.

    Are we talking about: 1) another tax increase for most people or 2) cutting some areas spending or 3) both #1 and #2?


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:34 am:

    ===another tax increase for most people ===

    No.


  6. - Bill White - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:36 am:

    Why Arlington Heights? Why not Soldier Field?

    >> For instance, how about we make an offer on the Indianapolis Colts? The team sucks this year, but they’ll improve when their quarterback returns. We could move it to Arlington Heights in exchange for no slots at tracks.


  7. - jk - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:45 am:

    “Every time one of these states tries to lure a company out of Illinois, we ought to go after one of that state’s biggest companies with everything we have. In other words, the “Chicago Way.” Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, fellas.”

    This is why I read your blog. Ha!


  8. - Bitterman - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:56 am:

    As I recall the last time a Governor tried to stop the business raiding that goes on was Edgar in his first term. He famously called for a truce at the National Gov. Association. And it sort of worked for short while. “Businesss Retention” was THE strategy. By his second term the gloves were off and Illinois was back in game. As “Jobs Confucious” says, “A state that keeps turning its cheek will soon be on its back”.


  9. - WILL COUNTY WISEGUY - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 10:10 am:

    Never ceases to amaze me that “Illinois is Broke”, or so says the Commercial Club of Chicago, yet we always seem to have money to throw around to the well-connected like CME while 22,000 people with developmental disabilities needing services from the State are languishing on a waiting list, poverty and homelessness are increasing significantly, and the State owes billions in back due bills to small businesses, school districts and others who can ill-afford to wait any longer for their money. Meanwhile, the 1% who can afford to hire former staffers for top politicians as their lobbyists call the shots. We may be sending Blago to prison, but that doesn’t address what’s wrong with politics in Illinois.


  10. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 10:12 am:

    A win is a win,it’s about time that Illinois has had something to crow about.We could also use another football team. Quinn made his point and
    helped the working poor he diserves a pat on the back.And adding that Indiana parts to the deal was a master stroke.


  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 10:15 am:

    –As I recall the last time a Governor tried to stop the business raiding that goes on was Edgar in his first term. He famously called for a truce at the National Gov. Association.–

    Thanks, Bitterman, I didn’t know that. That’s what the NGA and NCSL should be doing. Edgar showed some vision and sense.

    These raiding parties are nothing more than multi-million dollar, taxpayer funded, press conferences for governors. Or in the absurd case of Emanuel using TIFS to lure Sara Lee from Downers Grove, mayors.

    Plow that money into education and infrastructure, and they will come.


  12. - Jechislo - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 10:44 am:

    The best part of the whole deal is that I get a $2.50 tax break via the income exemption being increased from $2,000 to $2,050.

    Boy, the Illinois economy is going to spring to life now.

    Ya gotta love how this state takes care of its citizens.


  13. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 10:59 am:

    “Every time one of these states tries to lure a company out of Illinois, we ought to go after one of that state’s biggest companies with everything we have. In other words, the “Chicago Way.” Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, fellas.”

    I agree with this. If we stick it to them, they’ll cut it out.


  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 1:03 pm:

    –House Republicans were mostly missing in action on the other piece of the tax-relief package that passed 67-49. It would double the earned income tax credit available to the working poor and increase the standard exemption for all taxpayers by tying it to the rate of inflation.–

    Maybe if there had been a urine test involved, or a handgun requirement, more House GOP members would have been on board.

    This is the crowd that barks all night long about “family values,”"cutting taxes” and “Ronald Reagan,” but when they get a chance to advance the ball with a play straight out of The Gipper’s playbook, they once again assume a thumb-sucking fetal position.

    Same with the Meeks voucher bill last year.

    The House GOP is rightfully bound for oblivion. They stand for nothing and represent no one. The new map will just speed up the inevitable.


  15. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Every time one of these states tries to lure a company out of Illinois, we ought to go after one of that state’s biggest companies with everything we have. In other words, the “Chicago Way.” Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, fellas.”

    Ought we do this not out of spite, but because we want to grow our economy and consequently, state revenue?


  16. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 1:32 pm:

    Go riddance to bad neighbors!

    They want a free ride? Let them get it somewhere else. Go to Dallas. I lived there. There was no income tax so the schools and public services sucked. You had to pay extra for the Dallas police to patrol the neighborhood and tuition at the private schools was far more than my income tax up here. Oh and the work pool reflected the poor education.


  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 1:38 pm:

    –Ought we do this not out of spite, but because we want to grow our economy and consequently, state revenue?–

    No, our economy is way big and diverse compared to those guys already. There’s not much they have that we would want. I’d take Eli Lilly, though. That’s a nice fit. Cecil Fielder, too.

    You do it to make the other guys stop trying to steal from you.

    Understand the concept — they pull a knife, you pull a gun. They put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue.

    That’s the Chicago Way.

    (Best read with a Sean Connery accent in the mind).


  18. - RichardtheLionHearted - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    Prediction: 2020 GDP of Illinois below 300 billion - % Democrats in Ill House and Senate - above 80%


  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 2:05 pm:

    –Prediction: 2020 GDP of Illinois below 300 billion - % Democrats in Ill House and Senate - above 80%–

    Go with that, Nostradamus. As a businessman, you know, obviously, that state government is the be-all, end-all in a global economy. No other variables come into play.


  20. - dave - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 2:12 pm:

    Prediction: 2020 GDP of Illinois below 300 billion - % Democrats in Ill House and Senate - above 80%

    LOL - please don’t quit your day job to move into economic forecasting.


  21. - soccermom - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 2:41 pm:

    Why are we so fixated on this zero-sum game of moving corporations around the national gameboard?

    By fixating on tax incentives instead of grants, we do nothing to help the promising young companies that are not yet big and profitable enough to pay income taxes. So we leave the yummy little youngsters sitting out unprotected, vulnerable to the coastal-based VCs that want to move them –and their jobs and profits — out of Illinois.

    Come on, folks. This is an ag state. We should be farmers and grow some new companies — and give them a little support from the state as fertilizer to make sure they stay here. That’s the only viable longterm plan.


  22. - RichardtheLionHearted - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 2:50 pm:

    I try to run a business in this bloody state. It is a mess and our corporates taxes are 9.5%. I would rather have blago back vs. quinn. Yes, give me a corrupt politician over a communist. Corrupt politicians are a lot cheaper to keep happy.


  23. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 3:10 pm:

    –Why are we so fixated on this zero-sum game of moving corporations around the national gameboard?–

    They produce “job-creating” and “job-saving” press conferences for politicians. Expensive press conferences.

    Meanwhile, the state runs away from it’s true, boring responsibilities like funding and making higher education more accessible.

    No jobs are created in higher education, right? Those kids on the Mosaic Project at U of I who invented the Internet and went on to found Netscape, Orbitz, YouTube, RiverGlass, etc., what jobs did they “create?”


  24. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 3:42 pm:

    - I try to run a business in this bloody state. -

    - Yes, give me a corrupt politician over a communist. -

    Apparently you’re a little confused about how communism works. Good luck with the red scare tactic though, I’m sure that’ll help the IL GOP regain relevance.


  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 3:54 pm:

    Communist? Well done, RTL. If you operate at that intellectual level, that might explain why you have a tough time running your business.


  26. - RichardtheLionHearted - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 4:01 pm:

    My business was doing well over the last decade. It is still profitable, but we are not seeing a growth trend and our large clients are slowing down their Illinois activity. You can directly link it to Quinn’s 9.5% tax increase. Our Missouri presence is looking more promising, and we just obtained our first contract in TN. We are small professional services corp, and I am sure Quinn doesn’t care if our little 12 person firm moves anyway.


  27. - RichardtheLionHearted - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 4:02 pm:

    BTW - Congrats to CME - it is nice to have leverage.


  28. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 4:18 pm:

    Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”


  29. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 4:41 pm:

    - You can directly link it to Quinn’s 9.5% tax increase. -

    Yeah, probably had nothing to do with the global economic crisis and recession. Definitely the tax increase.


  30. - RichardtheLionHearted - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 6:42 pm:

    Small town liberal - Have you ever met a payroll? I doubt it. Do you know how easy it is to shift production from one state to another? Yes it is directly linked to the tax increase. The global recession started in 2008. We started seeing a reduction in 2010.


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