A little ADM sanity
Friday, Oct 11, 2013
* Most of the Republican gubernatorial candidates’ reactions to the request by ADM for a state tax break have generally lacked substance. Instead, three of the four have focused mainly on attacking Gov Pat Quinn for holding the tax break hostage to a pension deal…
* Bill Brady ignored the fact that ADM has admitted that it currently pays very little state income tax…
* I hadn’t seen Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s take on the tax break, so I reached out to him this week. He called me yesterday and we went over the issue.
It’s clear to me that Rutherford has put some thought into the matter and is not just looking at this from a political angle.
* While Rutherford made it crystal clear that he wants ADM to remain in Illinois, he said passing legislation to create a special tax break just for ADM was the wrong approach.
Rutherford said he wanted broad-based legislation that would make other companies eligible, not just a specific one. This approach, he said, means “you create winners and losers” and is “not a level playing field for Illinois businesses.”
* When I mentioned that ADM was saying it was merely following precedent after special tax break laws were passed for Sears and CME, Rutherford said he didn’t disagree with the company’s logic, adding the obvious fact that he wasn’t governor at that time.
But, he said, when the state gives assistance to companies, “it needs to be all rules known and applicable to everyone.”
Makes sense to me, but, then again, there are always unforeseen circumstances and special emergency cases.
When an ADM vice president buys a multimillion-dollar condo in Atlanta, it’s time to worry. Otherwise, maybe not so much.