Plan Would Give ADM Tax Breaks To Stay In Illinois
CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers are considering a tax incentive package in hopes of persuading agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Company not to move its global headquarters out of the state.
The proposal filed Friday in the Illinois House would give ADM a 10 percent break on utility taxes for up to 30 years and a credit against some state income tax withholdings. The value of the incentives was not disclosed.
The package was introduced by state Rep. John Bradley, a Democrat from Marion who is chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee. The committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Chicago to consider "investment tax credits," though specific legislation to be discussed has not been posted.
Bradley did not return phone messages left Friday and Saturday. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield in late October for a six-day fall session.
ADM, which has been based in the central Illinois city of Decatur for more than four decades, announced Monday it's looking for a new headquarters with better global access. The company said it would have about 100 employees and would become home to a new technology center that would add another 100 workers over the next few years.
The bulk of operations and some 4,400 jobs would stay in Decatur, which would keep the title of North American headquarters.
Company officials won't discuss which locations they're considering or how long it will take to make the decision.
A spokesman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday the city is among the candidates and that Chicago would do its best to keep ADM's global headquarters in Illinois.
ADM is No. 27 on the Fortune 500 list and has about 30,000 employees around the world, about half of them overseas, spokeswoman Victoria Podesta said. The company processes corn, soybeans and other crops to make everything from animal feed to ethanol and food additives.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office did not immediately respond Saturday to a request for comment. Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson told the Chicago Sun Times on Friday that the governor's office had not seen the proposal. She also said it deserves careful review to be sure "Decatur and central Illinois are treated fairly."
Quinn has been hot and cold on the issue of corporate tax incentives. In his most recent budget address, he proposed temporarily ending three tax breaks worth an estimated $454 million to try to pay off the state's multibillion-dollar backlog of bills. That measure went nowhere during the spring session.
But Quinn has signed legislation providing $100 million in incentives to prevent Sears and the corporation that runs the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade from leaving Illinois. He told The Associated Press earlier this year that those breaks were different from the tax "loopholes" he proposed to eliminate because they saved thousands of jobs.