The question of how much cities and states should do to attract and retain companies is always a good one, and some lawmakers are concerned Illinois is looking foolish too often.
An Illinois House hearing examined the tool known as the EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) credit, as State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) has sponsored a bill to put limits on its use.
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“In 2011, it appears the (Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) gave away approximately $161 million, which was almost 8½ percent of the entire state corporate tax revenue for the entire year,” said Franks. “EDGE credits were supposed to go to businesses to drive investment and to spur job creation in Illinois. Instead, I believe the program has been focused on corporations that have threatened to relocate from the state and displace thousands of workers.”
Franks is upset that, after receiving an incentive package to keep its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Sears let go part of its workforce and closed some of its Illinois stores.