Statehouse
6:00 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Satellite TV Tax Could Help ADM, Office Depot

Credit ADM

Although pensions are atop the agenda Tuesday in Springfield, the Illinois General Assembly could consider a set of tax breaks for some of Illinois' biggest corporations.

Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland is moving its corporate headquarters, and wants a tax break to remain in Illinois, most likely Chicago. Office Depot, newly merged with OfficeMax, is deciding whether to put its combined headquarters in Florida or Naperville.

The deal would let the companies keep money they deduct from employee paychecks for Illinois taxes.

Though these plans have been in the works for months, there is a new wrinkle. To offset the tax revenue Illinois would lose, the state would impose a new tax on direct-satellite providers, like DirecTV and Dish Network. Cable companies already pay a similar tax.

Rep. Mike Zalewski, a Democrat from Riverside, says the tax would let Illinois help businesses without affecting its bottom line.

“It’s just one way to insure that we’re not doing these types of policies on the backs of students, and other state stakeholders," Zalewski says.

He says pension legislation must come first, though time is of the essence. Office Depot could make a decision about where to locate as soon as this week.