Illinois House approves tax relief for businesses, including CME Group, Sears

December 12, 2011

The Associated Press and Michell Eloy

Illinois State Capitol building

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois House has approved tax breaks for businesses, including some big names that are threatening to leave the state.

In a special session Monday, the House approved two bills as part of the package. One includes breaks for Sears and financial exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, both of which have threatened to relocate out of state. It also includes broader tax breaks, like a credit for research and development and a more generous method of writing off losses.  The second bill, which also passed, is intended to help poor and middle-class families partially through an increase of the earned income tax credit.

Speaking before the vote, Republican Rep. Roger Eddy said the tax relief package will help the state's business environment.

“It does have enough in it that I believe we should support it, if for nothing else that it begins to turn this state in the direction that we need to turn to create that positive environment,” said Eddy.

The corporate tax legislation passed 81-28 Monday, while the personal tax credits passed 67-49.  State Rep. Jason Barickman voted against both bills, arguing the corporate tax breaks didn't go far enough to help all Illinois businesses.

“You have to wonder what kind of a tax policy this is where government is involved in cherry picking winners and losers at the candid expense of everyone else,”  said Barickman.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the two bills Tuesday. It approved a similar relief package last month.