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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Other States Circling Illinois Businesses Wounded By Tax Increases

Tax increases in Illinois are causing other states to target Illinois businesses with promises of a more friendly business environment.

I previously posted how Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Favors Tax Increases ... in Illinois:
"We already had an edge on Illinois in terms of the cost of doing business, and this is going to make it significantly wider," Daniels said.
Indiana has started a "Illinnoyed" campaign to lure businesses, complete with a chart comparing the costs of doing business in Indiana versus Illinois.

Now Indiana is joined by New Jersey in seeking to lure away Illinois businesses:
Yesterday, New Jersey launched a print and audio campaign designed to attract business from other states and its first target was the state of Illinois. The campaign, which attacks Illinois 67% increase in income tax rates and 46% increase in corporate tax rates is calling on the business community there to relocate. The ads include a promise from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie that his administration will not raise taxes and that the state is aggressively pursing economic growth.
New Jersey's advertising campaign (image right) has not sat well with the person who raised taxes in Illinois:
Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has been a little touchy for the past week while companies in his state have been wooed by neighbors who want them to move out after lawmakers decided to raise the corporate and personal income tax rates.

But on Tuesday, New Jersey — a state much farther away — joined the hunt. So Quinn slammed Gov. Chris Christie for an ad that’s is running in Illinois, attempting to lure business to move east. Among Quinn’s blasts Tuesday:

“We don’t need some guy from Jersey to tell us how to do things in the Land of Lincoln.”
And add Wisconsin to the flock:
... Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is giving new meaning to an old slogan urging vacationers to visit his state.

"Escape to Wisconsin," suggesting subtly that Illinois businesses are currently imprisoned in hostile surroundings, is Walker's slogan.

Walker isn't just relying on a cute phrase. He also is in the midst of persuading his state's legislators to provide tax breaks to new businesses there.
Are these other states vultures circling a dying Illinois business carcass, or guardian angels rescuing the wounded? 


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  1. Texas Governor Rick Perry spent almost as much time in California last year as he did in Texas. The result? California lost 122 businesses to the business friendly climate of Texas in just one year.

    Perry understands that businesses create jobs (look at our record of job creation in the last two years compared to states like Illinois/California) and those jobs create tax revenue for the state. That seems to be a lesson states like California, and now Illinois, can't learn.

    Now, I would imagine that Governor Perry is quietly persuing the same goals in Illinois. Added benefit to companies moving to Texas? Lower utility rates, no lost production days due to snow, a reasonable tax rate, no state income tax on workers (workers get to keep more of their pay) and it is clear why even the WSJ points to Texas and tells the rest of the nation to take notice.

    Oh, and before someone wants to point out our budget shortfall, I would remind them that a) we have a balanced budget amendment to our state constitution and b) we had enough money in our "rainy day" fund to pay the shortfall but our wise legislature has decided to not deplete that fund and reduce state spending instead. Our current proposed state budget (for two years) will not exceed the amount of revenue the state gains.

  2. But is Illinois really raising the rates on the big producers there? Boeing quite famously avoided the Washington State sales taxes with the state's help for seventy some years now. Is there some sweetheart deal for the big companies? If not is Boeing regretting moving their headquarters?

  3. That's been going on in California for years. The radio is full of "incorporate in Nevada" ads and ads for moving your business to Nevada and "sigh" Michigan.

  4. Walker will have to do more than come up with a catchy slogan to draw business to Wisconsin, with the tax rates here. Better than Illinois, but not so great overall.

  5. The real problem for Illinois businesses is the moving expenses and how long it would take to re-coup the costs. There are a lot of Manufacturing companies with BIG machinery that costs a lot of money to move. So maybe the service type companies will move but the manufacturers will lay-off more people and stick it out and Quinn knows this. Our city has un-employment over 17% already and is known for it's manufacturing plants...
    I heard the Christie commercial yesterday and just started laughing! Still trying to talk our company into moving out of IL but it will cost too much....

  6. Moving is the most drastic response. Expanding elsewhere (if any expansion at all is planned) is a less drastic response.

    A third possibility is decline and eventual extinction, due to out-of-state competitors having cost advantages.

  7. Hilarious! Perhaps the businesses of Illinois can make up their own minds about what they want, Governer Quinn. And not have to listen to the confiscatory pols of the Land of Lincoln.

    Vote with your feet if you can!