About 10 months ago, Illinois passed what some believe to be the largest tax increase in the state’s history. This was on top of a tax rate in Illinois that already was one of the highest in the country. I don’t know whether Governor Pat Quinn (D.) followed this up by proudly announcing that Ilinois was open for business, but, if he did, it isn’t working out too well.
Three of the largest taxpayers in Illinois have let it be known that they are “seriously” considering relocating their headquarters to another state because, well, their taxes are too high. One of these taxpayers, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, has said that the tax increase has cost it $50 million a year. The other two taxpayers are the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Sears. This will never do. So,
[s]oon the Illinois state legislature will meet in special session to consider the Chicago machine’s latest favor: legislation designed to deliver tax relief to [these] companies.
The legislature may well be mulling over some recently “leaked” information before making any decision.
According to a soon-to-be released study of IRS tax filings from the free-market Illinois Policy Institute, between 1995 and 2008 Illinois lost 345,891 tax filers. All in all, that works out to a $188 billion loss in net income. That loss is remarkable, especially given that one in four taxpayers moved to a neighboring state.
I don’t know about the other companies, but the Chicago Mercantile Exchange donated heavily to Governor Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Mike Madigan in recent elections. Could there be a connection between these donations and the upcoming “special” legislative session?
Illinois Policy Institute’s Collin Hill had this to say,
Our Chicago machine has come up with a deal so rotten it’s uniting Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.
This is just one more example of crony capitalism. The little guy gets to pull harder, while more and more friends of the administration get to ride in the wagon.
So much for “shared sacrifice”, at least in Illinois.