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State Senate Committee Approves Tax Break For CME Group

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Illinois lawmakers are on their way to giving the CME Group big tax breaks to stay put.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports, the CME Group wants to cut its state tax burden in half by changing the way derivatives traded online are taxed.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports


One hundred percent of online derivatives are taxed, and a pending measure sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) would cut that to about 28 percent.

State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) wants the CME Group – parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, and the New York Mercantile Exchange – to stay.

“The General Assembly acknowledges that we want our companies who are global leaders in the marketplace to maintain their top preeminent position,” Schoenberg said.

The measure passed out of committee with four Republicans voting present. The Republicans wonder why the state continues giving tax breaks on a case-by-case basis instead of crafting a measure to help large and small companies.

“While we want to make it as easy as possible for you to thrive and succeed here, we also want to take this opportunity to see if we can broaden this package into something that helps even more job creators,” said state Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine).

On the other side of the political spectrum, Occupy Chicago protesters were demonstrating against plans for a tax break for the CME Group earlier this week.

The demonstrators, marching under the banner of “Make Wall Street Pay-Illinois,” urged lawmakers to reject the legislation, which would also grant tax breaks to the CME Group and CBOE Holdings Inc., the corporation that operates the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

The CME Group has been threatening to leave Illinois over a hike tax hike approved this year, which jacked the corporate income tax up from 7.3 to 9.5 percent.

CME Group executive chairman Terrence Duffy said in June that the firm would lose about $50 million this year from the tax hike.

The legislation for the tax break now moves to the Senate floor for debate.

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