Illinois House panel OKs tax breaks

From Crain’s Chicago Business:

An Illinois House panel Monday took the first formal step to provide tax relief that Chicago’s giant trading exchanges and Sears Holding Inc. say is crucial to keeping their headquarters here.

After weeks of delay and back-room talks, the House Revenue and Finance Committee voted 6-0 for a pared-back tax relief bill that primarily will benefit CME Group Inc. and CBOE Holdings Inc., but also gives some breaks to other firms and low-income workers.

Two other committee members abstained, saying the bill still needs refinement.

The measure, S.B. 397, now goes to the full House and Senate, which are expected to take it up Tuesday.

As passed by committee, the bill would extend about $250 million a year in tax breaks. Roughly $100 million of that would go to CME, CBOE and Sears combined, all of which have threatened to move out of Illinois.

Another $100 million is dedicated to tax breaks for smaller firms and an expansion of the exemption in Illinois’ estate tax, and $50 million to expand the earned-income tax credit for working poor from 5% of pay to 7.5% of pay.

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