Illinois’ Problem with Attracting Business

The Belvidere Chrysler Plant was built in the early 1960's.  One of the incentives was a four-lane road running through Belvidere parallel to the Tollway from which this photo was taken.

The Belvidere Chrysler car manufacturing plant was built in the early 1960’s when Illinois was attractive to business. The General Assembly helped bailout Chrysler in the 1970’s and twice since then paid to re-tool the plant. One of the original incentives was a four-lane road running through Belvidere parallel to the Tollway from which this photo was taken.  It is now four-lane all the way to Rockford.

Chicago Tribune business columnist Paul Rosenthal has writes some truths today about the Illinois business climate that the Democrats running Illinois should, but won’t listen to.

“Here is Illinois, where the lengthy list of benefits for business is matched by an equally long collection of liabilities, there’s reason to fear we’re at least as vulnerable to get a Dear John Inc. letter [as California, which Toyota just told would be moving its headquarters to Texas].

“Concerns include

  • governmental dysfunction
  • fiscal concerns and
  • ever-changing tax schemes,

along with protections for its citizens that businesses don’t face in other states…

“What do you do when there’s  nothing to do?

“Illinois has an unwise habit of trying to throw incentives at companies that threaten to leave rather than work to make the environment better for all companies here–or those thinking of coming here–and rely on on the state to sell itself.

“Not everything businesses want from a state is a great idea to give, but parceling out gifts on a piecemeal basis only upsets everyone else…

“By [Illinois Manufacturers Association CEO Mark] Denzler’s estimate, the last major manufacturer to locate in Illinois was the carmaker Mitsubishi, and that was in the 1980’s when Jim Thompson was governor…”

And, I would point out, Illinois taxpayers paid a big “bribe” to get Mitsubishi to move to Bloomington.

Rosenthal points out that Caterpillar, whose CEO graduated from Woodstock High School, could pull up stakes at any point.

Its finance folks are already in Tennessee and Cat hasn’t built a plant in Illinois in decades.

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In other depressing news for Illinois, Michael Lucci reports on Illinois Review that the state is losing more people than it is drawing.

Worse still, those moving out “earned $55,000 per year, while the average taxpayer who entered Illinois earned $49,000 per year.”

After the 1980 Census the state’s demographer wrote a scholarly paper in which he argued that the ratio of tax dependents to taxpayers in Chicago was too high to save the city, that the main question was whether the rest of Illinois could be saved.

The censors in the Governor’s Office would not allow it to be published in the form it was written.


Illinois’ Problem with Attracting Business — 6 Comments

  1. Will the voters continue to support Jack Franks who recently voted in favor of giving the Firemen unions the power to dictate how many people work in your local fire department?

    The bill, HB 5485, grants that power to an arbitrator – arbitrators RARELY go against Firemen Union demands.

    Franks may work against identifiable tax increases but he has no problem voting for legislation which will directly increase public sector costs, causing tax increases elsewhere.

  2. Just drove by the new State Farm building off the George Bush, looks almost done.

    Read it took six banks to finance and will house 8K workers.

    Anyone that thinks Illinois can attract business, needs their head examined.

    Nobody is going to come in and help pay for decades of Kleptocracy and those idiotic overpromised pensions.

    Walgreens is late to the game, but I read last week is beginning to pack their bags.

    Maybe one of the goofs in Springfield can announce another round of ‘Corporate not paying their fair share for a vote’, to push them out quicker.

  3. Recently read that Chicago home values in Lincoln Park and other trendy neighborhoods have reached pre-crash prices.

    A quick search on show property taxes on Lincoln Park homes of <1%-1.5% of property value.

    To put in perspective, a $1 million dollar property in Lincoln Park IL, pays property tax lower than a $300,000 home in Woodstock, IL.

    Have McHenry County Board members done any research to discover what we might be doing so wrong here in comparison all other towns, counties, and states in America?

  4. And in addition to this, we have the Illinois Assembly trying to make the taxpayers pay $100 million for an Obama library.

    The way they are going, we’ll have no businesses to pay taxes, and residents are moving out as well…. makes sense, huh?

    Illinois will be Detroit in no time.

  5. Illinois is driving productive manufacturing away.


    Insurance rates.

    Utility rates.

    And the corruption.

    Yada yada yada.

    It’s over for Illinois.

    Cat and Deere will move their respective domiciles.

    Walgreens will go first, and why not?

    It’s over folks.

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