Would the last business leaving Illinois please turn out the lights?

Caterpillar, Inc, one of the largest employers in the state of Illinois and an iconic symbol of heartland solidity, is seriously considering a move to another state.

CEO Doug Oberhelman sent a letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, saying that "the pressure was on" from other states who are trying to woo the tractor maker and their 23,000 jobs away from their home in East Peoria.

The Pantagraph:

"I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what's right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest," Oberhelman wrote in the letter obtained Friday by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. "The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business and I'd like to work with you to change that."Oberhelman said he's being actively courted to move.

"I have been called, 'cornered' in meetings and 'wined and dined' -- the heat is on," Oberhelman wrote. "Before, I never really considered living anywhere else and certainly never considered the possibility of Caterpillar relocating. But I have to admit, the policymakers in Springfield seem to make it harder by the day."

Cat spokesman Jim Dugan said the letter was designed to show Quinn that Oberhelman wants to be involved in finding solutions that benefit the company, which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.
"I view it as an olive branch to offer our help," Dugan said.

[...]

"The governor welcomes frank and open exchanges between the business community and government, and we are always open to new ideas that can help our businesses grow, innovate and create jobs," Callahan said.

Illinois recently almost doubled its business tax and income taxes for employees. Oberhelman has a fiduciary responsibility to the company's shareholders to examine options that would increase the profitability of Caterpillar. He could be fired (or charged with a crime) if he failed to do so. The huge tax increase makes staying in Illinois an unprofitable option.

It would be hard to overstate the effect of Caterpillar leaving downstate Illinois. It would devastate the local economies who depend on Caterpillar and their employees to pump tens of millions of dollars into these communities. 

And then there's the uncertainty:

Republican leaders, who unsuccessfully fought Quinn on the tax hike, say the letter confirms why they were opposed to the increase.

"These are the kinds of letters we fear," said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. "Even more worrisome are the hundreds of businesses being wooed that we don't know about."

Indeed.




Caterpillar, Inc, one of the largest employers in the state of Illinois and an iconic symbol of heartland solidity, is seriously considering a move to another state.

CEO Doug Oberhelman sent a letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, saying that "the pressure was on" from other states who are trying to woo the tractor maker and their 23,000 jobs away from their home in East Peoria.

The Pantagraph:

"I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what's right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest," Oberhelman wrote in the letter obtained Friday by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. "The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business and I'd like to work with you to change that."

Oberhelman said he's being actively courted to move.

"I have been called, 'cornered' in meetings and 'wined and dined' -- the heat is on," Oberhelman wrote. "Before, I never really considered living anywhere else and certainly never considered the possibility of Caterpillar relocating. But I have to admit, the policymakers in Springfield seem to make it harder by the day."

Cat spokesman Jim Dugan said the letter was designed to show Quinn that Oberhelman wants to be involved in finding solutions that benefit the company, which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.

"I view it as an olive branch to offer our help," Dugan said.

[...]

"The governor welcomes frank and open exchanges between the business community and government, and we are always open to new ideas that can help our businesses grow, innovate and create jobs," Callahan said.

Illinois recently almost doubled its business tax and income taxes for employees. Oberhelman has a fiduciary responsibility to the company's shareholders to examine options that would increase the profitability of Caterpillar. He could be fired (or charged with a crime) if he failed to do so. The huge tax increase makes staying in Illinois an unprofitable option.

It would be hard to overstate the effect of Caterpillar leaving downstate Illinois. It would devastate the local economies who depend on Caterpillar and their employees to pump tens of millions of dollars into these communities. 

And then there's the uncertainty:

Republican leaders, who unsuccessfully fought Quinn on the tax hike, say the letter confirms why they were opposed to the increase.

"These are the kinds of letters we fear," said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. "Even more worrisome are the hundreds of businesses being wooed that we don't know about."

Indeed.




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