Jun 14, 2011 2:18 AM GMT
Will The Chicago Merc Flee Illinois Taxes?
States: The company that owns Chicago's two largest futures exchanges is thinking about moving operations out of state to flee oppressive business taxes. Worried about climate change? How about the business climate?
The days when Chicago was the "hog butcher to the world" have long since passed, replaced by its role as a leading financial trading center that is home to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, also known as the Merc, and the Chicago Board of Trade.
On Wednesday, Terence Duffy, chairman of CME Group Inc., which owns the two institutions as well as the New York Mercantile Exchange, and Chief Financial Officer James Parisi announced the financial giant is considering moving operations and jobs out of the state in response to massive increases in state taxes.
Parisi told the company's annual meeting of shareholders that the state legislature's tax hike on corporations from 4.8% to 7% costs CME an extra $50 million a year. Corporations in Illinois also pay 2.5% tax on income, called a personal property replacement tax, which is collected by the state and flows to local governments.
The two rates taken together come to 9.5%, the third highest corporate tax rate in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation. In February, CME reported a 3% drop in fourth-quarter earnings partly because of expenses it booked related to the tax hike.