“Would it surprise you to know that you pay more in state income tax than does Archer Daniels Midland Corporation? This is true despite the fact that (1) according to the State Constitution, the corporate income tax rate is 9.5%, and (2) ADM had sales last year of about $90B.
“How is it possible that a world-wide conglomerate can pay less state income tax than you? It is really quite simple. ADM accountants have used perfectly legal accounting methods to give the corporation a zero tax liability for years. Therefore, if you have paid any Illinois State income tax, you have paid more than ADM.
“This situation, however, has created a problem for ADM which has applied for an EDGE credit. EDGE is the acronym for “Economic Development for a Growing Economy.” It is a state program created to attract and retain businesses which make investments in jobs and capital.
“However, ADM does not qualify for an EDGE credit because without any taxes owed, ADM has no way to access the credit which would be worth about $1.2M a year for 20 years.
“How can ADM extract itself from this dilemma? It seems that the only thing it can do is follow the lead of Sears Holding, Motorola Mobile, Ford and other large corporations and take a tax credit against the income taxes paid not by the corporations, but rather by their employees. In other words, monies that were destined to pay for state pensions, roads, schools, state police, etc. would go to ADM’s bottom line. This will only be possible if the state legislature passes special legislation.
“Why would the Illinois state legislature even contemplate making such a deal? ADM is moving its corporate headquarters from Decatur, Illinois to somewhere else. That somewhere else could be Chicago or an out-of-state location. Corporate executives aren’t saying where they will relocate, but they have applied for an EDGE credit.
“The implication is that the legislature will either give ADM the EDGE or else! Some impolite readers might call this corporate black mail, but those folks just don’t understand these things. After all, they are only taxpayers.”