Ill. Fights States' Efforts To Woo Its Businesses It isn't uncommon for neighboring states to poach business from each other, but ever since Illinois passed a tax hike earlier this year, the efforts by other states to woo Illinois businesses has gotten intense. Illinois officials say they've lost no ground, but the governor is meeting with one of Illinois' largest employers to address concerns about the state's fiscal condition.
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Ill. Fights States' Efforts To Woo Its Businesses

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Ill. Fights States' Efforts To Woo Its Businesses

Ill. Fights States' Efforts To Woo Its Businesses

Ill. Fights States' Efforts To Woo Its Businesses

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/135135564/135135522" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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It isn't uncommon for neighboring states to poach business from each other, but ever since Illinois passed a tax hike earlier this year, the efforts by other states to woo Illinois businesses has gotten intense. Illinois officials say they've lost no ground, but the governor is meeting with one of Illinois' largest employers to address concerns about the state's fiscal condition.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

CHERYL CORLEY: Unidentified Man: Have you had enough of Illinois' outrageous tax increases that stifle businesses and cost jobs? Then move your business to New Jersey.

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CHRIS CHRISTIE: Hi, I'm Chris Christie...

CORLEY: Warren Ribley heads Illinois' Commerce Department. He says that revenue helps provide money to a state with huge budget problems, and he argues that it won't scare businesses away.

WARREN RIBLEY: In fact, the day after the income tax took effect, we got - I got a personal call from one of the largest employers in Southern Illinois saying they'd decided to move forward with a major investment that's going to create nearly 450 new jobs.

CORLEY: Mitch Roob is the CEO of Indiana's Economic Development Corporation.

MITCH ROOB: The message that we try to send repeatedly in Indiana is that we have a balanced budget, we have a fully funded pension and we have a Triple-A credit rating. So we will not have to raise your taxes to carry out the functions of government.

CORLEY: Catalyst Exhibits is located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, about 25 miles south of the Wisconsin border. In the assembly room this day, workers are building platforms for a trade show. President Tim Roberts says Wisconsin offered a deal that it couldn't refuse, and the company will soon relocate to a Wisconsin facility closer to an interstate highway.

TIM ROBERTS: At the time the income tax hike came down, we were getting all the ducks in a row, okay, trying to do an apples-to-apples comparison, and that was literally the straw that did break the camel's back.

CORLEY: Doug Whitley heads Illinois' Chamber of Commerce. He says even though the Illinois tax hike was a bad signal for business, he calls the rhetoric from surrounding states political theater. He says it's time for Midwest states to work together as a region.

DOUG WHITLEY: The message that the governors want to portray is one that they are sensitive to the need to create jobs. I just think it's unfortunate they think that the best way to create jobs is to try to poach the neighbor's employers.

CORLEY: Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Chicago.

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