Quinn Fights To Keep Sears, Other Companies In Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS) — The State of Illinois is riddled with debt, Gov. Pat Quinn is spending millions to keep businesses from leaving – Sears, Roebuck and Co. possibly among them.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the bottom line for companies across the state is cutting cost. But the recent business income tax hike has turned off companies, including Sears.

Quinn, who pushed for the tax increases as a means of trying to balance the suffering budget, is now seeking to entice companies to stay in Illinois.

“I know how to work with the big businesses,” Quinn said.

Sears has been headquartered in Illinois longer than anyone living today has been alive. Richard Warren Sears moved his company from Minneapolis to Chicago and met partner Alvah C. Roebuck in 1887.

But the mayor of Hoffman Estates, where the company is now based, says a departure by Sears is a real threat.

“It’s a real possibility that Sears could relocate,” Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod told CBS 2’s Jim Williams. “They have a responsibility to their shareholders, to make the best deal they can for them.”

Back in 1989, the company threatened to move to North Carolina, so the state put together a package of tax incentives and Sears moved from the Sears Tower – now known as the Willis Tower – to Hoffman Estates.

Now, it appears Quinn may make a similar effort to keep the company in Illinois.

“I’m sure we’ll work out something that will work for the company, but most importantly, work for the common good; for the workers; for the jobs,” Quinn said.

CBS 2 Financial Analyst Terry Savage says Sears is one of many companies considering leaving Illinois, and at a time when the state is struggling financially, Quinn is already offering hefty deals to keep the companies.

On Friday, he offered Motorola Mobility $100 million in financial incentives to keep its corporate headquarters in Libertyville.

Later this week, the state will reportedly offer millions of dollars in tax incentives to Continental Tire.

Published reports say the governor is also expected to offer a $3 million grant for Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which plan to locate in an old Ryerson Steel facility at 2558 W. 16th St. on the city’s West Side.

As for Sears, a bill is in the works that would keep in place property tax breaks for Sears for another 15 years. State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood), whose district includes Hoffman Estates, is the sponsor.

Meanwhile, Quinn has also named a new assistant director for the state Department of Commerce and Opportunity. Dan Seals, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress three times in the North Shore’s 10th District, will take over the post.

  • working man

    The state should have passed a tax hike on the supper rich not companies who give people jobs.

    • franklin808

      What’s a SUPPER rich? A late evening meal rich in calories?

    • Avg Joe

      RECALL the LOSER quinn………2011
      This no backbone, scared to open his yap to the thug madigan, or daly, …quinn is nothing more then a restroom “peaker” in the mens john!
      The tramp gets booted out of office cause the people were sick of the hag, she votes for moron ‘s tax increase…then lands a cushy job with the state…then after public out cry he moves the tramp were she can be “protected”…another tax payer leech , bounce that tramp out on the street ….she can make money the old fashion way…earn it!
      Vote the clowns out remeber it was Crook County and all those Ahsland Ave. store front preachers that got the getto mama vote out…
      RECALL QUINN …………..2011
      RECALL QUINN……………2011

  • Nauseated

    Too bad Quinn isn’t fighting to keep residents from fleeing Illinois with his tax increases. Sears saw what Quinn did for Catipillar and Motorola and every big business will now do the same. Where’s the shortfall going to come from now? More tax increases for Illinois residents and small businesses.


    Gov. NO Backbone, thee Spineless wimp, raises our taxes, then big business trheatens to move, he drops to his knee’s faster then Barney Frank,…..Geee, with business either getting brakes, and people fleeing the State of Corruption….it’s time to re-call this Loser,,,
    RECALL QUINN ………………….@)!!

  • Jim

    The longer he is in office the more I realize that Quinn is a moron. He “taxed” businesses to show people that the burden was not only on us, but is giving all the big businesses huge tax breaks so ultimately small businesses and individual taxpayers lose and need to pay a bigger portion of the tax burden. I thought in the past he said that “business will not leave the state because of the tax increases”. Wow, he was wrong? I’m shocked (sarcastically said)! Recall Quinn campaign July 2011!

    • zug

      Right, because don’t you know Jim? All businesses are created equal, but some businesses are more equal than others. BIG businesses are more equal than others, we see.

  • Somkey Kielbasa

    Even though the Repugs are putzes,you can’t blame them whats happen to Illinois Chicago and Crooked County,its all on the Democrats and the dumbask people who keep them in power for years.

  • Johnny

    The state is riddled on debt? How much do we own to whom? No wonder there are no jobs around and people are suffening because of it. Please bring more factories and business companies to the area so people will have something to do and paying tazes will reduce the terrible debt we have.
    How many more schools are they gona close?
    And the perks all the big shots got.. are they gona cut that too?

  • angry carpenter

    well i am a union carpenter and i agree giving money away isn’t such a great idea but i live a block away and im hoping i get a job but i wont hold my breath i’ve been watching people coming and going with there licencse plates from indiana, michigan, and wisconsin and well i guess Govenor Quinn since chicago is the city of big shoulders why not take care of others instead of our own who do all the living and dying in this community its a good thing that i’ve been laid off now for some time cause now i can watch all the trucks coming and going all day long its great when there is work going on in your own back yard its like athe party you never got invited to

    • Nick Thompson

      Perhaps now you have time to work on learning what punctuation is.

  • foesho

    buck eyed fool

  • limp

    this is bs..the company dont care obout people ,they wanna saving coz they want more for all kinds CEO and anothers sharks full pockets of money…its not about tax, they are so rich they can easy pay …

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live