Moving the Merc?

Cite this Article
Larry Ribstein, Moving the Merc?, Truth on the Market (June 15, 2011),

I’ve been writing (here and here) about Illinois’s troubles, in a mobile, multi-jurisdictional world, raising taxes on corporations to pay for its past profligacy.  And now a symbol of Chicago might be in play:

The line of businesses looking for tax relief in Illinois keeps growing, with the latest plea coming from the owner of the iconic Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. CME Group Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy told a shareholders meeting last week that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s 30% hike in the corporate tax rate enacted in January will cost the company $50 million this year. “We don’t want to leave Chicago,” Mr. Duffy said, but “we have to do what’s right for our shareholders.” A spokesman confirmed that the company is exploring all options to save money. * * *

The Chicago Tribune reports that CME pays 8.9% of its income in state tax, while most businesses pay well below 7% and many pay no tax at all thanks to rich deductions. * * * The Merc and Board of Trade are Chicago’s equivalent of Wall Street, engaging in trillions worth of trades each year and directly employing some 2,000 employees. At least 60,000 more Chicago-land workers have jobs linked to the trading centers.

Is this an empty bluff?  A not-so-nice part of Indiana is not far from downtown Chicago.