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Cross says deal reached on CME-Sears tax break package

Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross says a deal has been reached on a tax break package to keep locally-based Sears and CME Group in Illinois.

The announcement came on Thursday, a few weeks after the House overwhelmingly rejected a similar package.

A spokeswoman for Cross said the newer version of the package breaks the deal into two bills. One addresses changes to corporate taxes, including increasing the estate deduction from $3.5 million to $4 million by 2013. The other is meant to help low income families through an increase to the state earned income tax credit.

“We have come to an agreement on a jobs package that will give some relief to a broad base of businesses in our state," said Cross in an emailed statement. "This package will allow businesses to plan on longer term research and development and the ability to carry their losses forward in a tough economy.  It will also lessen the tax burden on our family farmers and small businesses. We must continue this broad based approach to retaining and growing jobs in Illinois.”

Lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene in Springfield next week for a special session to address the tax break package. The House will meet on Monday, and the Senate will follow on Tuesday.

Both Sears and CME Group have threatened to leave the state as a result of this year's corporate tax increase.

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