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Springfield to Vote on Revamped Tax Break Package for CME, CBOT

By aaroncynic in News on Nov 29, 2011 8:00PM

2011_11_9_CME_logo.jpg The Illinois legislature votes today on a newer, smaller package of tax breaks for CME Group, CBOE and Sears Holdings Corp. The previous package, which would have cost the state more than $800 million per year, stalled earlier this month.

The new package, SB397, would cost Illinois about $250 million per year and gives the companies, who have threatened to leave the state, about $100 million in combined tax relief. CME Group has still yet to use credits they received in 2008.

The bill would change taxation in regards to electronic trading, the Huffington Post reports. If passed, the legislation would exempt more than 70 percent of revenue generated from electronic trades from taxation, beginning in 2013. The bill also reinstates a corporate tax break which was eliminated when state income taxes were raised, reports the State Journal-Register. In addition, it increases the standard tax exemption by $50 and ups the earned income tax credit.

Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), who helped craft the legislation, patted himself on the back. Bradley told the Tribune:

“we’ve come up with a package that is sustainable and fiscally responsible…it provides payment for state bills, provides relief to middle-class working folks and small businesses, and retains jobs that have threatened to leave the state.”

The bill, however, still gives the majority of breaks to extremely large companies, who have been doing more than well fiscally this year. Both CBOE and CME Group reported huge increases in earnings in the previous fiscal quarter.

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) summed up some of our biggest concerns, telling the SJR she has “serious questions about the top-heavy nature of this and whether we should jump whenever another state says it is going to take a business” and “We’re here essentially because there are two companies holding a gun to our heads.”