* Look, I am fully aware that supporting any sort of corporate tax break is definitely not a popular thing to do. But it’s hard to argue with this logic when it comes to ADM’s request…
ADM’s bid is getting a generally cool response from other political leaders … in part because it is not blackmailing the state. They’re reasonably confident ADM won’t move even if they don’t grant its request. […]
If ADM were based in, say, Seattle, and were dangling the prospect of moving its international headquarters to Illinois, you wouldn’t be hearing talk about blackmail. You’d be hearing: What do you want and how fast can you get here?
We don’t like the special incentive game that pits states and cities in competition. One estimate a couple of years ago put the nationwide cost of such incentives at $50 billion a year in lost tax revenue. States that win secure work for their citizens, but create tax inequities between employers. States that lose face painful job and tax revenue losses when employers depart.
Illinois should get out of the game … when Texas, Ohio, and the other states that want to poach its jobs get out of the game. […]
Many other factors go into location and expansion decisions for employers big and small. Illinois lawmakers have to get their heads around the fact that they have created an unwelcoming environment for employers.
It’s distasteful and even somewhat unethical. But what will the naysayers scream if ADM decides to move its new world headquarters elsewhere?
* The company has already dropped its request for a break on its headquarters’ utility taxes. The first one to move in any negotiation is almost always willing to move again. Negotiate for a better deal, including a sweetener for Decatur, then get it done.