* If you think that the CME/Sears “We’re moving unless you pony up” crisis was a one-off event, you have another think coming. From the Associated Press…
More than 100 companies, including Deere & Co. and Abbott Laboratories, have incentive packages expiring in the next three years — and may want better deals to keep jobs in Illinois.
* And before you suggest that some sort of corporate tax reform or repealing the corporate income tax hike would stop these companies from putting out their hands, pause for a minute while I explain a couple things.
Corporate tax reform which spreads the burden around more equally to all corporations would mean modest tax relief to a relative handful of companies and big tax increases for everybody else. The companies who would finally be forced to pay significant state income taxes (like, perhaps, Caterpillar) would scream bloody murder, threaten to leave and demand relief.
And as far as repealing the corporate income tax hike goes, well, keep in mind that these companies all received tax incentive packages before the tax hike passed. Repealing that tax hike would not prevent them from threatening to move. Not gonna happen.
There are things the state can and should do to create a better business climate here. But don’t kid yourself that there’s some magical solution to our problems. Many of these problems were created long ago, and even if they are corrected, the corporations who received tax relief packages back in the day have now become addicted to them and will not give them up without a major fight.
* Meanwhile, if you think only Democratic areas have “judicial hell holes,” a new report by the American Tort Reform Foundation shows the problem is bipartisan here…
After a year of observation on the “Watch List,” McLean County advances to a Judicial Hellhole due to its unique practice of allowing lawsuits that seek compensation for asbestos-related injuries, even when the plaintiff did not come in contact with the named defendant’s products . These “civil conspiracy” lawsuits target deep-pocket companies with allegations that they had some role in concealing the dangers of asbestos from the public decades ago . One such McLean case recently resulted in a stunning $90 million verdict .
McLean County is about as rock-ribbed Republican as you can get in Illinois.
* A bunch of conservative organizations including the Illinois Policy Institute, along with one left-leaning group has been berating FutureGen this week. But there is a big problem on the horizon as Exelon and other generators shut down coal-fired power plants…
An Associated Press analysis has found that more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to close because of the new, more stringent regulations. Another 36 plants are at risk of closing.
No lights will go dark. But the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that 14.7 gigawatts _ enough power for more than 11 million households _ will be retired from the power grid in the 2014-15 period when the rules take effect. One rule curbs air pollution in states downwind from dirty power plants. Another sets first standards for mercury and other toxic pollutants from smokestacks.
The effect is greatest in the Midwest and in coal belt states such as Virginia and West Virginia, where dozens of units are likely to shut down.
Those closures are going to put a lot of upward pressure on electric rates as supply dwindles. And it’s one reason why many believe that Exelon has come out so strongly against coal gasification projects in Illinois. Tighter supply means higher prices, simple as that.
* And, speaking of conservative groups, check out how Illinois Statehouse News swallowed the Illinois Policy Institute’s spin hook, line and sinker…
“This is not a study to say what exactly led to people leaving, but we do note that taxes matter to people, a good, friendly environment to business matters, bad deficits and a bad governance matters to people, and people vote with their feet,” [IPI vice president Ted Dabrowksi] said.
From the IPI’s study summary…
Why are so many people leaving Illinois? Because the state’s poor public policies are forcing them out. Public policies drastically influence quality of life. On average, Illinois residents are leaving for states where they can have a higher standard of living.
* Also, too…
However, jobs, not taxes, factored into 33,551 tax-paying households leaving Illinois and moving to Indiana. During the time period of the study, Indiana had a higher individual income tax at 3.4 percent before Illinois jumped from 3 percent to 5 percent and a sales tax of 7 percent compared to Illinois’ 6.25 percent.
Actually, 18,847 left for Indiana while 14,389 Hoosiers relocated to Illinois.
…Adding… From John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute…
I saw your blog post from Wednesday that mentioned the Illinois Statehouse News report about our latest study on out-migration from Illinois.
At the end of your blog post, you quote the Statehouse News story saying:
“However, jobs, not taxes, factored into 33,551 tax-paying households leaving Illinois and moving to Indiana. During the time period of the study, Indiana had a higher individual…. Illinois’ 6.25 percent.”
You commented on that passage, saying “Actually, 18,847 left for Indiana while 14,389 relocated to Illinois.”
Your comments seem to imply that either the Statehouse News story or our report were wrong. I wanted to make sure you had the correct information.
The 33,551 number that Statehouse News used reflects how many net households left Illinois for Indiana between 1995 and 2009. The 4,458 number you cite (which is 18,847 minus 14,389) is for just 2009… not the entire study period that Statehouse News is referring to.
The “actually” you used in your comments and then “hook, line and sinker” reference at the start of the post seem to imply that we got creative with our math or are misleading people, and that’s not the case. You can check our numbers with the IRS, and the Statehouse News also did not have any errors in that passage of the report.
I would appreciate if you could let your readers know that the story and our report were in fact correct.
Thanks, Rich, and Happy Holidays!
* Protesters Want Mayor, City Council To Pass ‘Clean Power Ordinance’
* Sun-Times sale expected to be announced Wednesday - Deal involving group of local investors comes amid ongoing industry slump
* Judge Dismisses Plea to Stop Toll Hike
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* Funding Needed for State Transportation Projects
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