Some oppose tax break for ADM

Published 10/24 2013 10:26AM

Updated 10/24 2013 10:39AM

DECATUR -- ADM wants millions of dollars in tax breaks to stay in the state, but taxpayers say that's not fair. Protestors say they want lawmakers to put their "foot down" when it comes to corporate incentives. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has more.

ADM is asking for $24-millinon in tax credits over the next 20-years. Taxpayers say it's not right to essentially give away free money to big businesses, like ADM, especially at a time when Illinois is so strapped for cash.

"Hey, hey, ho, ho, corporate breaks have got to go!"

That's the message protestors are trying to spread in Illinois. Their chants are sparked by ADM.

The company is looking to move its global headquarters out of Decatur to a place with better access to airports and other corporate amenities. One option is Chicago, but to keep ADM in Illinois, the multi-billion dollar a year company says it needs a $24-million tax break.

"You're going to leave just because we won't give you a break?"

Kevin Holmes says, 'no way.' Holmes is an in-home caregiver. He makes about $12/hour and says, if he has to pay his fair share, so does ADM.

"I pay my taxes and I don't make nearly as much as you, yet you still want a tax credit? For what? It makes me feel like they don't care about the people of this state."

Illinois is about $9-billion in the red right now. These people say, even though $24-million over 20-years is a drop in the state's bucket, every penny helps.

"The state is slashing money from schools, mental health funding, etc."

But, if the state doesn't give up the tax break, ADM could ship off somewhere else, taking away 100 jobs and millions of other tax dollars with it.

This tax break is not popular with lawmakers and Governor Quinn has said he doesn't want to hear about any tax breaks or anything else until the state figures out its biggest financial problem which is pensions.

Since it announced its move, ADM has been scouting several cities other than Chicago. In the running are St. Louis, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Dallas.

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