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Business tax increase could push Sears out of Illinois

A Sears in Memphis, Tenn.

Jeremy Hobson: To the State of Illinois now which is increasing its tax on businesses to deal with a huge budget deficit. Now some big-name companies are threatening to leave the land of Lincoln.

From Chicago Public Radio, Susie An reports.


Susie An: You know that great Chicago icon, the Sears Tower? Well, that's no more. It's called the Willis Tower now because Sears moved its headquarters to a cheaper location in the suburbs. And with rising taxes, Sears is considering yet another move -- to another state.

Paul Swinand analyzes Sears for Morningstar.

Paul Swinand: I think overall Sears is purely looking at the bottom line. So the company has been struggling recently, and if they can get significant tax savings, they can take that money and plow it back into the business.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he is willing to negotiate tax incentives.

Pat Quinn: We will sit down with the Sears people and their representatives and elected representatives. I'm sure we'll work out something.

Quinn seems to be coming to the table a lot lately. Recently, Illinois made a deal with Motorola Mobility. That company's getting a $100 million tax break over the next 10 years.

In Chicago, I'm Susie An for Marketplace.

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Great, so another big company will rattle Quinn's cage and get concessions, while smaller companies do not have a similar recourse in Springfield. Smaller businesses have no choice but to leave. What sense does it make to stay when you can save money by simply hauling some trailers across the nearest state line....

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