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Old 03-27-2011, 07:07 AM  
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Would Cat leave Illinois?

There is a lesson that many have yet to learn. You get less of what you penalize. Given options, people will choose to locate where they feel most welcome and conditions are favorable be it an individual or a business. When states or countries take it for granted that they can count on business staying put regardless of how they are treated they can learn a painful lesson.

Why isn't Jay Nixon going after Cat?


SPRINGFIELD — 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.”

Oberhelman said he’s being actively courted to move.

“I have been called, ‘cornered’ in meetings and ‘wined and dined’ — the heat is on,” Oberhelman wrote. “Before, I never really considered living anywhere else and certainly never considered the possibility of Caterpillar relocating. But I have to admit, the policymakers in Springfield seem to make it harder by the day.”

Cat spokesman Jim Dugan said the letter was designed to show Quinn that Oberhelman wants to be involved in finding solutions that benefit the company, which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.

“I view it as an olive branch to offer our help,” Dugan said.

Quinn plans on discussing the letter with Oberhelman April 5 when the two meet at a conference in Peoria. The governor also plans on touring Caterpillar facilities at that time, spokeswoman Brie Callahan said Friday.

“The governor welcomes frank and open exchanges between the business community and government, and we are always open to new ideas that can help our businesses grow, innovate and create jobs,” Callahan said.

Oberhelman didn’t single out any specific problem with the state’s policies in his one-page letter, but Dugan said the recent income tax increase — signed into law by Quinn in January — played a significant role in triggering the note.

The tax hike has led to attempts by other states, including Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey, to try and poach companies that don’t want to stay in the Land of Lincoln.

Oberhelman also sent along correspondence Cat has received from other states.

“I stand ready to help convince you to relocate or expand in the fiscally conservative, low-tax Lone Star State,” wrote Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a Jan. 24 letter.

“I encourage you to consider South Dakota as a place for your business to grow and prosper,” noted J. Pat Costello, secretary of the South Dakota governor’s economic development office.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman wrote in February to say, “In Nebraska, we balance our budget by controlling spending, not by raising taxes.”

Republican leaders, who unsuccessfully fought Quinn on the tax hike, say the letter confirms why they were opposed to the increase.

“These are the kinds of letters we fear,” said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. “Even more worrisome are the hundreds of businesses being wooed that we don’t know about.”

Schuh said the tax hike and the state’s worker compensation costs on businesses “make Illinois a hostile environment, prime for the picking.”

http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local...cc4c002e0.html
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
whatsmynameagain whatsmynameagain is offline
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:53 AM   #3
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That just proves that this isn't a desperate attempt by a failing CEO to shift the blame to a bogeyman. This is a well-run, successful company that is willing to make a MAJOR change while things are going well. You don't consider this type of risk unless you are getting a nice return.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:40 AM   #4
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That just proves that this isn't a desperate attempt by a failing CEO to shift the blame to a bogeyman. This is a well-run, successful company that is willing to make a MAJOR change while things are going well. You don't consider this type of risk unless you are getting a nice return.
Exactly. His job is to do what is best for the company and the shareholders. It would be appropo to move the company before things didn't go so good which would make the move more costly and painful. Illinois made their bed, now they have to lye in it.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:12 AM   #5
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Cat has a long history of labor issues in the Peoria area going back to the early 70's. They had a lot of planned expansion that they took elsewhere due to strikes and issues with the state. Allis had similar issues in Springfield and moved about the same time. Put a lot of folks on the street but there was no good reason to stay.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:21 AM   #6
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:35 AM   #7
whatsmynameagain whatsmynameagain is offline
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Exactly. His job is to do what is best for the company and the shareholders. It would be appropo to move the company before things didn't go so good which would make the move more costly and painful. Illinois made their bed, now they have to lye in it.
I could understand if it was going to kill their business but gmafb. It's nothing more than an attempt at screaming give me my way. The fact is, if these megarich corps keep continuing to control things, then soon they will control us. We don't vote on company's, they buy and pay for candidates we vote for. Payback to the biz in government contracts. Our government goes broke and then where are these businesses going to go?

I own and run two businesses and would be fine if I had to all of a sudden pay 15% more in taxes. If everyone had to, so be it. If it was all relative but its not and never will be. Corporate profits taxed at what %? I can hear the straw, slurpee is almost finished
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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Exactly. His job is to do what is best for the company and the shareholders. It would be appropo to move the company before things didn't go so good which would make the move more costly and painful. Illinois made their bed, now they have to lye in it.

For all the stakeholders....the employee base may welcome a move as well at this point. The factory folks there are pretty high tech and if Cat moved at that level it may be a good thing for a lot of people. Cats business has been strong and this issue may be more one of expansion, just not in Illinois. If you were Cat would you build a factory there? Or look to states with a more sound economy and better workforce availability?
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:41 AM   #9
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Our government goes broke and then where are these businesses going to go?
They go to state governments which are not going broke because they spent money they didn't have on stupid crap that should not have been funded.

When it comes to businesses and state governments, its not like these big companies are trapped in the state and have no choice but to comply with tax law. They can leave for other states, or even other countries. Some stupid (and mostly young and naive) dems who always yell about taxing corporations don't realize that the companies don't have to put up with it, and they are only driving away jobs.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:47 AM   #10
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Yeah baby, South Dakota would welcome them with open arms. I'd even invite the CEO over for pulled pork.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:50 AM   #11
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Only 1/5 of Caterpiller workers is in Illinois. I'd say they left years ago.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:09 AM   #12
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Only 1/5 of Caterpiller workers is in Illinois. I'd say they left years ago.
Maybe but this would still leave a mark...

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Caterpillar ..... which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:20 AM   #13
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Maybe but this would still leave a mark...
I agree. I wasn't disputing the premise of the thread, just making an unrelated observation.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:22 AM   #14
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concentrated in Peoria....would be huge. Galesburg died when Maytag left...Its not a good thing at all
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by whatsmynameagain View Post
Our government goes broke and then where are these businesses going to go?

I own and run two businesses and would be fine if I had to all of a sudden pay 15% more in taxes. If everyone had to, so be it. If it was all relative but its not and never will be. Corporate profits taxed at what %? I can hear the straw, slurpee is almost finished
Mexico. And I congratulate you on being able to give up 15 percent of your revenue without caring.
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