Lawmakers To Try Again On Package To Keep Sears, CME Group

UPDATED 12/07/11 9:42 a.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — State lawmakers are going take one more try before the end of the year to pass tax relief for Illinois businesses that are threatening to leave.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports, Speaker Michael Madigan announced that the House of Representatives will convene on Monday. There is no date set for the Senate to meet.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports

Lawmakers have been have been seeking a tax relief package that would keep major corporations, including Sears Holdings Corp. and the CME Group from leaving the state.

Other parts of the package would help Illinois businesses in general, and families and the working poor could also get some relief.

State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, says the goals are broader than trying to induce big companies not to leave: “They’re about the middle class, they’re about working men and women, they’re about small- and medium-sized businesses. This is not simply a discussion about CME and Sears, although, obviously, the pressures of those companies and the attempts by other states to lure them away are creating a timing issue with the discussions that are taking place.”

“I’m an eternal optimist,” says Bradley. “We want to be in a position where we can move a bill quickly, and that involves coming back … to try to pass something.”

The package failed miserably in the House last week, by a vote of 8-99.

Sears and the CME Group have threatened to leave Illinois what they call an inhospitable corporate tax climate. A tax hike approved this year jacked the corporate income tax up from 7.3 to 9.5 percent.

The State of Ohio is offering $400 million to lure Sears’ corporate headquarters from northwest suburban Hoffman Estates.

Gov. Pat Quinn said last week that the $15 million over the next 10 years that Illinois is offering to keep Sears is “more than adequate,” and there will not be a bidding war with 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.

(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.)

  • Jim

    Illinois is now going to offer the money to Sears? It’s my understanding that the money will come out of D300, taking money away from the kids. We want to keep them stupid though to ensure they keep voting in these morons though right? Why not have all these “special sessions” to FIX THE PENSION CRISIS in Illinois instead of stealing money from our kids to pay off these companies?!?

    • Larry

      No money is being handed to anyone. They’re tax breaks. If Sears leaves the state, the money will be gone anyway, along with alot of jobs!

  • ronnyo

    Tax breaks mean that the lost tax has to be made up somewhere else—taking services from others in need. The state govt has become an anti-social tool of business–Sears may be welcome here and argueably we should try and keep them here—but tax breaks—I dunno about that. But CME –forget about it–they’re already making a lot of money—so to lump them both in the same package—is but another ploy by politicians to pull one over on the public. They did the same thing when they over-rode the governors veto over the energy grid increases to placate Com Ed and the parent company. Politics in Illinois has become not much different than the politics of the Federal Govt—–and is geared toward anti-social policies that favor business more than the public well being. Sooner rather than later–this is going to come back on all of them.

  • Leland Williams Jr.

    It’s incredible that people don’t realize that Taxation and Regulation cause businesses to locate offshore as well. Until we tax imports, tax policy on domestic corporations does not work.

  • Jill Davis-Moore

    I suggest the people of Illinois boycott Sears, and any other business attempting to take advantage of the state while Illinois is “over a barrel”. If Sears does not want to pay the fair cost of doing business in Illinois, Illinois citizens should not do business with Sears. My family and I will NOT be making any purchases from Sears from this point forward!

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