Category Archives: Business

Illinois Did Not Make The Top 25 List of Best Business Climates

Three main issues dominate congressional races in Illinois: jobs, jobs and jobs. Whether you’re a job-seeker or a business owner, this should come as no surprise. The state last week didn’t even make the Top 25 of a corporate journal’s list of the nation’s best business climates. All Illinois’ neighboring states except Missouri made the cut — as did fellow Midwest states Michigan and Ohio (rated second best in the nation).

Sears Threatens to Move After Getting Massive Tax Break

Sears famously got a mammoth tax break last year after threatening to move its headquarters out of Illinois. But it also got $5 million in annual property tax reductions that didn’t make headlines. The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights explains how Sears did it.

Cross: “Financial Mismanagement is Pushing Families Out of State”

Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, tells us what we already know: “Financial mismanagement is pushing families and businesses out of our state. The time to reform the pension system is now.” No mention, however, of the sole obstacle to pension reform: school districts footing their own pension bills.

Rahm Talks Business with Crain’s

Video of the Day – Regardless of where you live in Illinois, you should check out this interview with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Crain’s Chicago Business. Emanuel’s explanation of his education reform strategy (at the 36:23 mark) is especially enlightening.

Illinois drops to No. 29 in U.S. Business Tax Ranking

Illinois dropped 13 places, to No. 29, in business tax climate among the 50 states, says the non-profit Tax Foundation in its 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index. Despite rating 13th best for personal income tax, Illinois’ overall ranking sank because of an increase in the corporate income tax from 4.8 percent to 7 percent.

Jimmy John’s Talks Big About Leaving Illinois

It’s not like losing an auto plant or corporate headquarters of a multinational company, but the head of the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain says he’s moving part of his corporate operation out of Illinois. “I think you’ll probably see us out of Illinois in the next four years and probably see us in Indiana or Austin (Texas), if I was to guess,” Jimmy John  Liautaud told a panel discussion in Chicago this month. It’s not just the 2011 tax increase, Liataud says, but “the way they spend the tax” that has led him to look at other states, reports Crain’s Chicago Business.

Jobs and Businesses

New U.S. census data shows that 150,000 more Illinoisans were living in poverty in 2011 than in 2010. The Chicago Tribune reports: “ ‘The low-paying sectors are growing,’ while higher-paying industries continue to shed jobs, said Sheldon Danzinger, a University of Michigan economist who has written extensively about poverty trends. ‘Service, retail, food. They don’t pay very high wages. That’s a reason why a lot of working people are getting food stamps.’

Illinois Prison System: Overcrowded and Costly

Reboot State Finances — Illinois state government is desperate to make budget cuts, but apparently not desperate enough to figure out how to avoid “spending more than $1 billion to keep 48,000 people in a prison system designed to house 34,000,” says The State Journal-Register of Springfield. The paper suggests that Gov. Quinn set up a commission on prison savings as was done to make Medicaid cuts earlier this year.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

During Gov. Quinn’s DNC address, he invoked John Adams’ famous line, “facts are stubborn things.” If Quinn wants to talk about the facts, then let’s talk about the facts.

 Illinois’ State debt:

•Illinois’ total state debt is $271 billion.

•Illinois’ state debt per resident is $21,000.

•Illinois has roughly $8.5 billion in unpaid bills.

 Illinois’ economic performance:

•39 states have a lower unemployment rate than Illinois.

•It will take 43 months for Illinois’ unemployment rate to recover to its pre-recession low, given the current pace of job creation and assuming no growth in the labor force.

•Unemployment in Chicago is stalled at 10.5%

•Illinois is 48th in job growth.

•Illinois is 48th in economic outlook.

•Illinois is 48th in economic performance.

•Chicago is tied with Detroit for the worst entrepreneurship rate among the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

•Illinois has had 12 credit downgrades since 2008.

•Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the nation.

Illinois’ pensions:

•Illinois has the worst funded pension in nation.

•Illinois’ pension inaction costs the state $18 million per day.

•Illinois pension funds need 19% annual investment returns in order to pay for the promised benefits.


John Adams was right, facts are stubborn.

For more Quinn facts, visit

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