June 16, 2011

Illinois Must Ignore CME’s Tax Tantrum


How much is enough? On top of the close to $500 million in corporate tax breaks Illinois doles out each year, Governor Pat Quinn now finds himself confronted by a growing crowd of CEO’s demanding even more. In the wake of tax-break lobbying efforts by Motorola, Sears and Caterpillar, the latest corporation seeking preferential tax treatment is CME, owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. These companies claim that the temporary corporate tax rate hike enacted by Illinois lawmakers earlier this year might force them to pull up stakes and leave if the Governor doesn’t bend the tax code to accommodate their specific industry. This tactic is widely viewed as an empty threat, but the Governor has said his door is open.

Matt Gardner, author of Balancing Act: Tax Reform Options for Illinois and Executive Director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, issued a statement in response to the controversy.

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