CME, Sears tax break package expands
With multiple add-ons, the ultimate bill could cost $700 million a year.
Seven hundred million dollars a year. Here’s how Heartland’s Budget & Tax News publication started its story on the state’s record $7 billion tax increase — that’s $7 billion ANNUALLY — that became law in January of this year:
“Illinois Democrats approved a 67 percent personal income tax increase and a 46 percent corporate tax increase in the dead of night on the last day of the state’s lame-duck legislative session, shortly before new lawmakers would have been seated to block the increases.
“State budget officials estimate the tax hikes will take another $7 billion annually from Illinois families and businesses.”
Soon after that abomination, major employers in Illinois started threatening to move out of state. The state government this year has already pledged hundreds of millions of dollars of future tax revenues to keep Motorola Mobility, Continental Tire, and a handful of other employers.
And now this: Possibly $700 million given away in just one year in a package of “incentives” to keep the headquarters of retailer Sears and CME Group, owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, and Chicago Board Options Exchange. (A few other sweeteners apparently would be thrown in, too, to try to cover the stench.)
Meanwhile, since the state’s governor and lawmakers imposed the $7 billion obscenity last January, at least 89,000 jobs — jobs at smaller, less politically connected firms — have disappeared from Illinois.
Lawmakers and governors in Illinois ensure the big get bigger. They reward the politically connected because the politically connected reward them — with campaign cash, photo ops and glowing press releases about jobs saved.
Meanwhile the smaller businesses, the less politically connected, the individuals who just want to go to work each day, come home and relax, see their lives made more difficult as billions of dollars are siphoned out of their pockets and into the pockets of the big players, the ones with the connections.
The smaller businesses and individuals, the ones without money to throw around to buy a mayor or governor or key lawmaker, see their businesses close, their jobs disappear, their livelihoods gone.
And they see no one in Springfield notices or cares.