Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sears on life support, Quinn and the Democrats giving loser $15 million in annual tax breaks

Pat Quinn's safe deposit box, right.
Three years ago Pat Quinn and the Democratic-controlled General Assembly "temporarily" raised the personal income tax rate by 67 percent and the corporate income tax rate by 45 percent. Months later, Quinn and the Dems fell for an extortion ploy by Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart and the Sears retail outlets, who threatened to leave Illinois if didn't offer receive tax breaks.

And so they caved in. The CME Group, which operates the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile exchange, also received tax breaks. Sears gets $15 million in annual tax savings for the next ten years--totaling $150 million--plus local tax breaks. Sears Holdings' headquarters is in Hoffman Estates, a northwestern suburb of Chicago.

Two months after Quinn signed the tax breaks into law, Sears laid off 100 employees at its headquarters.

But Sears may leave Illinois--and the planet--very soon. Fitch lowered its bond rating to Double-C, which in the opinion of Michael Aneiro of Barron's, is "essentially the sub-basement of the speculative-grade ratings scale."

Crain's Chicago Business' Joe Cahill conjectures that the corporation's debt burden could shutter Sears, Kmart, and everyone else under the Sears Holdings umbrella by 2016.

And those Sears tax breaks? Quinn is flushing money down the toilet. The Democrats should have just let them leave.

Oh, where is my tax break? Quinn wants to make the 2011 tax hikes permanent ones.

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