Senator: Decatur Unemployment Must Be Considered In ADM Tax Breaks

Oct 2, 2013

Credit ADM

As Archer Daniels Midland plans to move its headquarters out of Decatur, state lawmakers are considering whether to award tax breaks to keep the agribusiness giant in Illinois.

At a legislative hearing in Chicago, representatives of ADM told lawmakers they wanted incentives worth $1.2 million a year for up to 20 years. In return, the company would keep its headquarters in Illinois, likely in Chicago.

One lawmakers says it's "essentially blackmailing the state."

Others, like Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat whose district includes Decatur, acknowledge they want to keep ADM in Illinois. However, Manar says, "We can't do that in one community at the expense of another, and I think that has to be part of the discussion as well."

Manar points out while unemployment in Illinois is at 9 percent, Decatur's jobless rate is at 12 percent.

"And for a generation, has had a much higher unemployment rate than the state average," he says. "That cannot be conveniently ignored by the legislature."

The tax breaks for ADM, plus incentives for Office Max and other companies, could be debated at the General Assembly's veto session later this month.