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CME Group: Hurry Up With Tax Relief, Or We Might Leave

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Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Chicago Mercantile Exchange floor. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — As the Illinois General Assembly fall veto session winds down, the head of the company that owns Chicago’s two big trading exchanges warns that time is running out to keep the firm from moving to another state.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Terrence Duffy, executive director of the CME Group, is warning lawmakers that if they do not move on a tax break this week, his company will explore moving the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade out of Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

RELATED: Walter’s Perspective: Say No To Tax Breaks For CME

Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has said says he believes an incentive package designed to keep the CME Group in Chicago will pass his chamber, but its prospects are uncertain in the state House, the Tribune reported.

A state Senate Committee has already approved a tax break for the exchanges that changes the way derivates traded online are taxed. Currently, 100 percent of online derivatives are taxed, and a pending measure sponsored by Cullerton would cut that to about 28 percent.

Some lawmakers question the cost of tax relief for corporations such as CME and Sears, at a time when the state is struggling to pay bills, and getting ready to shut down some mental health facilities and social service providers.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for tax relief for the CME Group and the city’s other major trading firm, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, to keep them from leaving the state.

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to broaden the relief package to include Sears.

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.

Duffy said in June that the firm would lose about $50 million this year from the tax hike.

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