Governor Pat Quinn's decision to raise taxes in Illinois in order to stem the bleeding for a giant budget hole has left him exposed on his flank.
The leaders of other states continue to try an poach business from Illinois' borders.
This week, Florida Governor Rick Scott wrote to the chairman of the CME Group, Terrence Duffy, suggesting they consider Florida as the new location for their headquarters,according to Crain’s Chicago Business
. The letter comes on the tail of growing discomfort from CME executives.
The company has publicly stated its intention to move out of state because of the tax increases passed in January. Chief Financial Officer of the CME Group, Jim Parisi, estimated that the increases cost the company $50 million a year.
After Quinn negotiated with Caterpillar and Sears on deals to keep them in the state, CME Group hopes they will be next to receive incentives to stay.
Governor Scott writes, “I will not rest until the business tax is completely phased out in our state so that both Florida and companies like CME Group can thrive.”
Scott continued saying, “I’m confident you will get the greatest return on your investment.”
In an effort to prove the sincerity of their claims,the CME Group listed parts of the Chicago Board of Trade building as for sale on June 13.
With futures exchanges becoming more and more linked with technology, the 1.4 million square foot Board of Trade building could be the only asset tying the CME Group to Illinois.
If CME Group follows the advice of Scott and relocates they would be sending a message to Quinn that he faces a very real choice between keeping jobs in Illinois and raising revenue.
Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tried a similar move to poach other businesses from Illinois.