* Jimmy John Liautaud, the founder of the Jimmy John’s sandwich store chain headquartered in Champaign, has rented a house in Florida and enrolled his students in school there because he’s furious about the state tax hike…
“All they do is stick it to us,” he said, adding that the Legislature and governor showed “a clear lack of understanding.”
“I could absorb this and adapt, but it doesn’t feel good in my soul to make it happen,” Liautaud said.[…]
Liautaud said he has been contacted by “multiple pro-business states” that made him feel “wanted and important.”
“I enjoy being courted and the process,” he said.
The company employs 100 people at its Champaign headquarters. The board of directors will decide later whether to move the company. Liautaud told the News-Gazette that he plans to commute from Florida to Champaign during the interim.
The tax hike was apparently the last straw. He was picketed by local unions for using non-union labor to build a shop not long ago. He wasn’t happy about that…
He said he’s sick of being “pummeled.”
“I’m not sophisticated enough, smart enough or politically correct enough to absorb it all,” he said.
* And while other states are scrambling to create maximum fear and loathing among Illinois business owners, our state’s economic outreach program took it on the chin when its top guy got popped for a DUI…
The director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in his personal vehicle last week.
Warren C. Ribley, 53, of Pajim Lane was taken to the Sangamon County Jail following a traffic stop at MacArthur Boulevard and Wabash Avenue.
Great. Just great. This state can’t buy a break. Just when we need him most, Ribley gets himself in trouble.
* Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker is using Illinois’ tax hike and a proposed Minnesota tax hike to gin up the locals and keep the story alive…
Governor Scott Walker traveled around the state today to unveil additions to the signs that welcome people as they cross the state borders. Laura Podgornik reports from Superior.
Construction workers placed red “Open for Business” plaques onto the four “Welcome to Wisconsin” signs in Beloit, Dickeyville, Hudson, and Superior. Walker says he hopes the signs will attract businesses to move into Wisconsin and help bolster the state economy.
“The biggest issue is jobs I hear that all the time when I’m up here in Douglas County and really in the Northwest in Ashland, in Bayfield, in Burnett and surrounding counties. It’s about jobs. It’s about getting the economy going again. So what we’re talking about not only with the sign but is making it more attractive for job creators to continue to grow and invest here and for that matter, for those from other states to find it attractive to bring their jobs here.”
Walker says he is unveiling the signs in light of tax hikes in Illinois but he hopes to attract businesses from all bordering states including businesses based in Duluth.
* And it’s no different in Indiana…
Chicago business leaders still smarting over Illinois lawmakers’ decision to raise personal and corporate income taxes were greeted Tuesday by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s smiling mug in their morning newspaper. A full-page ad purchased by a city economic development group in the Chicago Tribune — and two other downstate newspapers — extolled our fair city’s friendlier business climate.
Soon, business execs might see billboards hyping the Hoosier state’s lower tax rates while they sit in Chicago traffic.
But as state and city economic development leaders compete with surrounding states to capitalize on Illinois’ tax mess, there is one line that Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob says he won’t cross as the state contemplates its own ad campaign.
Slapping ads on the side of Chicago city buses — well, that would just be unseemly.
I’m not sure I’d sell them a blog ad, either. Although, if the price is right…