A good-government think tank says Illinois doesn’t adequately track how well its tax incentive packages work. State lawmakers spent weeks crafting incentives to keep Sears and CME Group in Illinois. But the Pew Center on the States found that once such incentives are given in Illinois, it’s hard to tell if they’re working.
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“States spend billions of dollars on these incentives,” says the center’s research director, Robert Zahradnik, who authored the study. “If they’re not working, that’s money that could be spent on other critical services like education, public safety, and infrastructure.” Zahradnik says one way to increase analysis is to require short sunsets on all incentives, but Illinois lawmakers have said that’s bad, as it provides uncertainty about the state’s long-term business climate. The Pew Center’s study is at