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Sears Disappointed In State House’s Rejection Of Tax Break

Illinois House Floor

House floor at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. (AP File Photo)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Sears Holdings Corp. says it is disappointed after the Illinois House of Representatives voted down legislation that would have provided tax breaks to keep the retailer, as well as the CME Group, in the state.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, the bill included tax breaks for both Sears Holdings Corp. and the CME Group. Both companies have threatened to leave Illinois because of what they say is its inhospitable corporate tax climate.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

The state Senate approved the tax package Tuesday, but it failed in the House the same day by a vote of 8-99.

In multiple published reports, a spokesman for Sears called the defeat of the bill disappointing. He says Sears is standing by earlier statements that it will decide on its future in Illinois by the end of the year.

Sears confirmed in October that it is in discussions about two prospective sites that are not in Illinois over the corporate tax hike. Reports said the two sites are in Austin, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio.

The CME Group has not commented. Previously, executive director Terrence Duffy warned that if the state did not hurry up and move on a tax break, his company would explore moving the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade out of Illinois.

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

The tax package would have provided about $85 million in tax relief for financial companies CME Group Inc. and CBOE Holding Corp. Sears would have gotten a $15 million break each year for the next decade.

The bill also included other breaks that would have applied to Illinois businesses in general, including a research-and-development credit and changes in the way losses can be applied to tax bills.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)