Income taxes not "playing in Peoria"

Caterpillar CEO's letter talks of leaving Illinois


The chairman and CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. is raising the specter of moving the heavy equipment maker out of Illinois.

In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.

"I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what's right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest," Oberhelman wrote in the letter obtained Friday by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. "The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business and I'd like to work with you to change that."

Comment: Caterpillar is HQ'd in Peoria. On the phrase Will it play in Peoria?

1 comment:

  1. Other states woo CAT

    Caterpillar Urges Illinois to Roll Back Tax Increases

    Mr. Oberhelman enclosed letters from governors or other officials in Texas, Nebraska, Virginia and South Dakota, all citing the recent Illinois tax increase and urging Caterpillar to invest in what they described as more business-friendly environments.

    "If Illinois doesn't want your business, Texas does," wrote Rick Perry, the governor of that state.

    The governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman, wrote: "In Nebraska, we balance our budget by controlling spending, not by raising taxes."

    An official in the South Dakota governor's office chimed in: "In South Dakota, you make a profit, and you keep your profit."

    The Illinois tax increase will cost Caterpillar's 23,000 employees in the state about $40 million this year, said Jim Dugan, the company's chief spokesman. Higher taxes make it harder for Caterpillar to attract and retain engineers, accountants and other employees, Mr. Dugan said. He added that Caterpillar's corporate taxes in the state also will increase but provided no estimate on the added cost.

    "The state unfortunately continues to put off the tough decisions" about potential reductions in government spending and pension costs, Mr. Dugan said. He said Caterpillar was offering to advise the governor on cost-cutting based on the company's own experience chopping pay and laying off workers during the 2008-09 recession.


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