This should be another year in which the Illinois legislature debates whether tax incentives to lure new companies and keep existing companies are a good idea. After the House adjourned last year without acting on packages for three companies, including ADM, House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) came out against individual requests in favor of a big picture approach. Eric Noggle has co-authored a study of incentives for the state's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability and says that's easier said than done.
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“It's hard to have one answer that will fit every situation,” he says. “A lot of these studies show that it's really a case by case basis (by which) you need to look at these things.” ADM decided to move its headquarters from Decatur to Chicago without an incentive. But COGFA's executive director, Dan Long, says that's only part of what Illinois should be considering. “ADM has been in Illinois for a long time,” he says. “Now, have they built a new facility here or expanded here recently? No, and I don't think you've seen that from Deere or Caterpillar, either. And I think those are the things we are looking at.” Long points to Illinois' unemployment rate fixed higher than the nation's. The report follows a recent legislative hearing in Chicago over the incentives.