In January the Chamber wrote 50 key executives of corporations in Illinois.
In our letter we noted that the Illinois State Assembly was in session to deal with their budget shortfall and that the Texas Legislature was meeting as well to address how to balance our budget in a time of declining state revenues.
“We will write you back,” we promised in our letter, “after the Texas Legislature completes its work,” to let you know how business fared in Texas as compared to how business and citizens fared at the hands of the legislature in Illinois. Our expectation was that Texas would take a different approach to its budget challenge than the one Illinois did.
One would hope so. In fact, the Illinois legislature promptly increased personal income taxes on its citizens by 66% and raised the business tax rate by 46%, (to see the New York Times report, click here).
The Texas Legislature did no such thing. Expenditures were reduced and a significant surplus was left in the state’s rainy day fund (our Chamber is concerned over the long term impact of education funding that does not keep pace with growth or inhibits development of our future workforce, but that is a story for another day).
The DRC’s economic development department has now delivered on our promise to write these executives back and we wanted you to see the actual letter, Illinois letter, we have put in the mail to them. To leave nothing to chance we wanted to include an easy to read chart of the comparative business climates between Texas and Illinois after our respective legislatures finished their work.
The chart proves with clarity and simplicity the reason why businesses and corporations all across America are finding their way here, often deciding to move to the Dallas/Fort Worth region and often with our direct help. (View Illinois vs Texas Chart June 2011). We believe it will be an effective tool to help explain why a company should move here now.
Illinois is not the only state to heavy-up on taxes at a time when businesses, especially smaller ones, can least afford it. Other states come to mind for both tax reasons and the heavy hand of over regulation. They are finding our economic development department knocking on their doors as well.
We have a tremendous amount of work to do to achieve the goals we have set out in our strategic plan. To get there we will be growing our activity in economic development to take advantage of the opportunities other states are giving us.
The Chamber’s executive committee has recently given us the green light to proceed with new efforts to grow our economic development fund so that we can be involved in even more “hot pursuits” of companies which express an interest in moving here or corporations which we identify and want to see locate here.
Our Economic Development Committee is hard at work on a highly organized effort to target these companies. We will be engaging with a number of our member investors on how we can grow our resources to meet the opportunities that will truly make us the most prosperous region in the country as well as the most desirable place to live. View
Looking for the New New World, the SMU O’Neil Center 2010 Annual Report.