Illinois House Approves Tax Breaks For Sears, CME

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois House has approved a package of tax breaks designed to keep retail giant Sears and Chicago-based financial exchanges in the state.

CME Group Inc. owns the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The bill also extends breaks to the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

The legislation passed 81-28 Monday and now goes to the Senate.

Lawmakers broke up the tax incentives package that failed earlier in the month into two bills – one addressing corporate tax breaks, research and development credits and sunset extensions; and the other dealing with tax relief for low-income families.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports

The issue of corporate tax breaks dates back to January, when the Democrat-dominated General Assembly approved a $7 billion income tax increase.

Now, 11 months later, lawmakers are feeling the pressure as the CME Group and Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company of Sears and K-Mart – threatened to leave the state.

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.”

The House earlier approved tax breaks aimed at helping the state’s poor and middle class families.

The measure is the first half of a large tax-relief package. The other half offers aid to businesses,

The bill increases the earned-income tax credit, which lowers tax bills for poor families.

It also would increase the personal exemption available to all taxpayers. The exemption would be tied to inflation and automatically increase in future years.

That bill passed on a 67-49 vote and was also sent to the Senate.

The tax breaks would cost the state roughly $110 million a year.

“Investing in working families is good for Illinois,” Quin said in a statement. “The Earned Income Tax Credit will put more money in the pockets of everyday working people, which in turn allows them to invest that money back into their local communities.

“Improving the value of the standard personal exemption will provide relief to those trying to make ends meet. Investing in employers is also good for Illinois, and this package is targeted to spur job creation and economic development all over the state.”

  • tom Sharp

    What’s next on their agenda–Tax breaks for people who worked one day as a sub teacher and get a 6-figure pension???

  • Dylan

    So, Quinn boy, where are you going to find $110 million, to pay for this? Why don’t you take the funds out of the overpaid pension fund? Oh, that’s 6 billion in the red. Take it out of the Illinois College Fund. Oh, that’s 1.1 billion short. Quinn, you need to try harder. Illinois is the 2nd worst state in the nation – let’s go, we can be #1. Your jail cell is waiting…

    They should make it a law for these companies that get these huge tax breaks, that it they move to another state, they must first pay back that tax money the suburbs gave them. Just as they do when a homeowner buys a house in another suburb, they charge you for leaving.

    • Larry

      Nobody has to pay for anything. If Sears and CME leave Illinois, the money will also be gone in that senario. It’s better to give them the tax breaks that they will get in any other state they move to. We can’t afford to lose the jobs! Figure the tax money is gone either way!

  • john

    “Investing in working families is good for Illinois,” Quin said in a statement. “The Earned Income Tax Credit will put more money in the pockets of everyday working people, which in turn allows them to invest that money back into their local communities.

    I work everyday and wwhat do I get? Those of that don’t get the credit get to pay for it and we can’t invest the money back in our local community. Makes me realy happy to pay my taxes

    • KE

      Well said. I agree!

  • Fed up

    There’s the driver,s seat and then there are the passenger’s seats. There are front tits and there are rear tits. We, the public passengers are considered lucky if we get a seat at the rear of the bus or a rear tit. Why? Because the government takes our money and gives it to Sears etc. so they will stay here. If they move then the government will raise our taxes to make up for the loss of the Sears taxes. We, the public are losers any which way. There is no American spirit left in this country. It is dog eat dog. Get used to it. Go out and steal your own money. It is the American way. They cannot put everyone in jail.

  • malcom

    The best thing for any business is to close shop and move out of state.

  • john

    All taxpayers should boycott Sears and KMart. Let those that get the tax break i”invest” their money. Buy over the internet so the state doesn’t get the sales tax. It is time to say enough is enough and stop funding all the freeloaders.

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    • tom sharp

      Hey Jinnis, you’re obviously very unwell! Get some help soon!

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