Jimmy Johns checks out Florida to flee Illinois tax

By Associated Press
Posted Jan. 19 at 10:13 a.m.

The founder of Jimmy John’s sandwich shops says he’s considering moving his company’s headquarters from Champaign to Florida because of Illinois’ tax increase.

Jimmy John Liautaud¬† told The (Champaign) News-Gazette Tuesday that he’s gathering information on a potential move and will ask the company’s board to decide.

Liautaud says he could absorb the increased costs but doesn’t believe he should have to.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the income tax increase last week to help address billions of dollars in state budget shortfalls. The corporate tax rate rose to 7 percent from 4.8  percent.

Jimmy John’s headquarters employs 100 people in Champaign. The privately held chain has more than 1,000 sandwich shops around the country.

Liautaud says he recently moved his family to Florida from Champaign.

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  1. Scott Jan. 19 at 11:13 a.m.

    They’ll move their HQ so fast, even Pat Quinn will freak!!

  2. Bill Jan. 19 at 11:39 a.m.

    Liautaud’s recommendation to move JJ’s corporate HQ to Florida has nothing to do with the fact that he recently moved his family to the Sunshine State. It’s all about the income tax hike. And, if you believe that, I’ve got a beautiful foreclosed property in Dolton I’d like to sell you.

  3. Lisa G Jan. 19 at 12:15 pm

    @Bill – Perhaps he moved his family there for the same reason. Lower taxes. Let the flood gates open!

  4. Henry Jan. 19 at 12:23 pm

    He’ll pay more in Florida property tax (one of the highest in the country). His restaurants’ food is mediocre at best, good riddance to this reactionary right winger. Don’t patronize any Jimmy John’s!

  5. citybiker Jan. 19 at 2:11 pm

    The quality of life in Florida is about the same as the quality of his sandwiches. See ya.

  6. George Jan. 19 at 3:20 pm

    Lisa G:

    Jimmy Johns headquarters leaving Illinois is not what I call an impact. If Walgreens, United Airlines, or McDonald headquarters leaves Illinois, thats an impact.

  7. Kurt Jan. 19 at 4:04 pm

    Am I the only the one here that likes Jimmy John’s? Keep HQ in Illinois!

  8. bobby J. Jan. 19 at 4:36 pm

    Jimmy is one of those guys who takes the money and runs. Not exactly a guy whose name shows up in support of non-profits, programs for the needy and advocacy for the voiceless . . . exactly the kinds of needs the state has to embrace because of the lack of significant private support.

    Someone ought to calculate how much benefit he received in corporate tax breaks, tax deferral incentives and the substantially lower corporate taxes he has paid for years.

    If he had any integrity he would have returned some of that money in the form of benevolence.

    Good riddance.

  9. Joe Bobst Jan. 19 at 4:42 pm

    @ Henry
    There you go, engaging in nasty political sniping. Didn’t your great leader Obama just ask you to tone it down?You’re a poor Democrat if you don’t follow the Party line.

  10. Paul Jan. 19 at 4:56 pm

    He won’t find any room there. All the Wisconsin businesses already left and took all the good corporate headquarter spots.

  11. Active Jan. 19 at 4:59 pm

    Florida doesn’t list its personal income tax rates on line but here are some others:
    N.Y over $20,000 6.85%
    OK over $8700 5.5%
    KA over $30,000 6.45%
    Wi over $19,000 6.45%
    this is at http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouthtmls/swzl_statetaxrate_HI.html
    So Illiois is not so outrageous.

  12. Paul Jan. 19 at 5:20 pm

    So what’s the rate in Illinois for us out of stater’s info

  13. Active Jan. 19 at 5:27 pm

    It has just been increased from 3% to 5%

  14. jj Jan. 19 at 6:05 pm

    wow! He’s a Republican so he is mad that 1) Brady lost, and 2) tax increase.
    I really hope he takes his small team to Florida, the will fit better there, and maybe, just maybe, the absence of his 500-1000-calorie sandwiches in Illinois will help with reducing the obesity rate.

    I stopped eating at his restaurants when I found out how many calories I was ingesting per sandwich, not counting chips and a drink.. Ciao Jimmy!

  15. rj Jan. 19 at 6:10 pm

    Good riddance…I’ll make sure I quit eating there.

  16. Dean Skora Jan. 19 at 6:41 pm

    Kurt: do you ever eat there? Overpriced and underwhelming. Please, I am so sick of the “little business that got good” stories about companies with an inferior product. He made his first money selling to students at that haven of culinary options known as Charleston, Illinois. And now he merely franchises: if you’re McDonald’s, that means something, but for him, bubkus. And if you don’t believe the political hype, read his own website: “Reagan and old Bush were leading the country through the Cold War…”

    Now on to food criticism: (sorry, Phil Vettel): The bread is enormous, and really bad. (Again, the website: “award-winning bread”.) Please to inform — what award? None anyone’s heard of, except maybe the Charleston paper’s “Least Likely To Make You Barf Award.” No texture, endless — not endlessly chewy, or any such appellation: just ENDLESS.

    Oh, why do I bother: his sandwiches are horrendously overpriced, he’s made his opinions clear, he doesn’t have any significant investment in Illinois — already moved his family, right???

    Bankrupt in five years. When you sell an inadequate product for twice it’s worth, you will fail. Witness what has happened to his location in a building DePaul owns and is right at the corner of that lazy, no-business location that Garrett’s, McDonalds, Subway, La Cocina, Arby’s and Chipotle (not to mention Barnes & Noble, Radio Shack, ad naseum — and also the much better (and much less expensive) archrival Potbelly 1/2 block east) seem to be able to make a profit from: State & Jackson.

    Buh-bye. If you can’t beat ‘em, blame the government. What a whiny wimp.

    Charleston, indeed. Welcome to the big city and the big time.

  17. AdamWickPrk Jan. 19 at 6:51 pm

    I see we have a few left wing shills making comments here. He’s a selfish right wing reactionary Republican, etc, etc. Obviously, those people flunked Business Administration 101. The primary concern of any business is its bottom line. Torpedo their bottom line with tax increases to pay for criminally bloated pensions, an out of control entitlement culture, benefits for illegals, and political cronyism and what do you get? Business moving out of state. Go back to your coffee house, where you can discuss the evils of capitalism..fools..

  18. Phydeaux3 Jan. 19 at 7:05 pm

    I could patronize Jimmy John’s but why should I have to?

  19. mike Jan. 19 at 8:49 pm

    Listening to you losers explains a lot to me about Chicago water. I don’t blame him for wanting to pick up and leave your hill-billy state.

    You ever think, that maybe this guy is quite simply fed up with the over abundance of incompetent leadership in your state. The corruption, the on-going childish bickering the crooked politicians and fixed laws? If you’ve ever lived anywhere else in the U.S. you’d realize how great life really is outside of Chicago. It’s really a breath of fresh air to be in a civilized society.

    Wow! If you people will just open your eyes you’ll realize everybody who is anybody in your state is picking up and leaving on the first thing smoking and they’re not looking back. Hundreds of Doctors, Motorola is next and I’ll bet my life that Groupon is only a couple of years away at best.

    Your state is corrupt!

  20. mike Jan. 19 at 8:53 pm

    Your sales tax is 9.75% and your Mayor SOLD THE PARKING METERS FOR GOODNESS SAKE!! LMAO!!

  21. ddt8 Jan. 19 at 10:27 pm

    @Dean Skora. You’re a jealous idiot. Simple as that. If jj’s is so bad why are they LEADING or near the top of the industry in several key metrics? Research it yourself if you don’t believe me.

    I love when people who don’t make ****, pay almost none of the taxes, yet totally depend on the govt get pissed when those who pay the bills have something to say. Stop your f*cking whining and make something of yourself– then when you actually earn a decent income and pay taxes come talk to me.

  22. scott Jan. 19 at 10:41 pm

    I cannot believe you people. Republican or Democrat you have ALL missed the point. Our tax rate is percentage based, the more you make, the more you pay taxes. If WE are not making more money, than the government should STOP SPENDING!! We don’t have the option to DEMAND AND FORCE our employer’s for a raise whenever we want to spend more money, we have to live on a BUDGET!! SO SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT!! Those of you focusing on what type of sandwiches Jimmy makes and how many calories are in them, you are a complete IDIOT. What you should be focusing on is MORE lost revenue, MORE lost jobs.Especially in a state with over 10% unemployment! Jimmy Johns is one of hundreds of businesses that are leaving Illinois now. And contrary to the retard who says we should be worried when McDonalds leaves, SMALL BUSINESSES EMPLOY MORE PEOPLE COLLECTIVELY THAN THE LARGEST CORPORATIONS. Guess what the unemployment rate will be then. Or does the retard expect us all to just flip burgers for a living. For the ******* that can’t find the income tax rate for Florida, THAT IS BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE A INCOME TAX!!! Their legislation thought it prudent to attract BUSINESSES!! Who has money to give to charities when we are paying 60% of our pay to the government??(please don’t ask me to list the over 100 taxes we pay) I can’t believe the many comments trashing a man, no matter what your opinion of his restaurants are, over his protest of taxation without accountability. Show me one government program that is 1) sustainable without raising taxes every year 2)run efficiently. 3) Operated profitably and I will eat my computer and you will never hear from me again. Until then, MAKE OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS!! STOP SPENDING!! IF WE CAN’T AFFORD ENTITLEMENTS THEN WE CAN’T AFFORD THEM!!! Ok, I feel better now. Maybe I should run for office. If anyone would like to make a campaign contribution, let me know.

  23. mouseanon Jan. 20 at 12:33 a.m.

    Hey “Mike”, you dumb twat. Jimmy John’s is headquartered in Champaign, a cow town which happens to have a large university, 140 miles south of Chicago. Buy a map. And a clue.

    Let him go. His 300 minimum wage jobs make no difference, and according to his yammering on TV tonight he can pay to fly his “managers” to Florida on his own dime instead of putting them up in the Super 8 in Champaign. Nice economics there, dude.

  24. mouseanon Jan. 20 at 12:38 a.m.

    “Scott”, I own commercial property and pay taxes in south Florida as well as Illinois. Guess what location costs more to operate? Hint, it isn’t the one near a Great Lake. Plus you are dealing with government in Florida that is even more corrupt than Cook County, and that’s saying something.

  25. scott Jan. 20 at 3:08 a.m.

    Mouse, I’m not sure what your point is. I HOPE you pay more in real estate taxes in South Florida than “cow town” Unfortunately, we need all the minimum wage jobs we can get in Illinois, and Jimmy Johns does not start their employees off at minimum. Don’t be arrogant in thinking just because you don’t need those jobs that other people don’t need them for survival. I too own hundreds of properties in Illinois and Indiana, my tenants are not “Corporate executives” They work at Wal-Mart, Jimmy Johns and many other service industries. These are the majority. Again, keep your eye on the ball. And don’t give me the bull that a more corrupt government in Florida is a justification for corruption in Illinois. Of course, if your rich and the minimum wage jobs don’t mean anything to you, Mr. Quinn is accepting donations to balance the budget.

  26. scott Jan. 20 at 3:21 a.m.

    Further more, when Illinois spends $160,000,000.00 (that’s million) for the legal defense of its latest corrupt governor and wants more money from ME! Kiss my ***. There is not one of us out there that could not go to Springfield and balance the budget today, WITHOUT raising taxes. The entitlements are out of control. Is it OK to loose jobs forever by raising taxes or loose jobs temporarily by cutting the budget?? The problem with continually increasing taxes on the working people is that eventually the money runs out. Still looking for campaign contributions.

  27. Victor Jan. 20 at 5:35 a.m.

    Ok, so jimmy johns wants to move. It’s a free country, they can do what they want. Florida has lower corporate taxes and no income tax but. Very nice. But, to offset that, it’s got high property taxes and sky high insurance rates.

  28. TKirk Jan. 20 at 8:24 a.m.

    I am proud of Jimmy Johns for leaving. I hope other businesses follow his lead. Illinois needs to quit pushing their problems on business owners and it’s residents. Illinois need to cut spending and do what ever possible to get out of it’s union contracts with devastating costs and pension plans. Enough is enough. Good for you Jimmy!

  29. Active Jan. 20 at 9:45 a.m.

    the personal income tax rate in Illinois is a flat rate and not tied to income. Many states do graduate it by income but not Illinois. I do not claim to know anything about the business tax rate in any state. I simply am pointing out that Illinois’ new personal income tax rate is not terribly different from other states.

  30. wayne Jan. 20 at 11:37 a.m.

    After reading these posts, I know why Democrats win in Illinois.

    However, I guess they will blame Jimmy Johns when the state goes belly up.

    Its a very big deal for the 260 employees at the HQ.
    And, if the malcontents stop eating at the stores, it will become a big deal for even more unemployed people.

  31. Dan Jan. 20 at 5:02 pm

    I love and envy liberals.

    How great it would be to go through life in a such a naive child-like state. “Look mom, business bad, government is good.”

    Hmmm… “Raise tax rate by 75% and revenues increase 75%. Yea, that sounds right… what other possible consequence could come from raising taxes 75%?”

    Unfortunately for Illinois, the bad days are only beginning. Even if the tax rate did increase the revenue by the projected amount, it still would not cover the day to day bills. Not to mention the underfunded, exorbitant pension system. But Illinois is about to find out what New Jersey already learned, raising taxes kills business, forces people to leave and subsequently lowers revenue.

  32. ejhickey Jan. 20 at 8:38 pm

    bobby J.: i recall that the owner of JJ gave $5 million to the University of Illinois, just in case you were wondering how much he gave back to the local community

  33. jj's blows Jan. 21 at 6:31 pm

    Jimmy john can go to florida. he is just a money hungry fat *** just like all the ******* who run his franchises. i hope all his stores close down, the company is filled with a bunch of brainwashed idiots

  34. Earl Jan. 23 at 11:38 a.m.

    The reason FL doesn’t list their income tax rate is because it is ZERO. I moved from the wasteland that is IL to FL last year. And it is great down here, except for all the New Yorkers that bring their IL like politics down with them. They like the ZERO percent income tax but believe taxes should be raised on the evil rich. Like Jimmy. What a jerk, providing all those jobs whilst providing a delicious product. Until IL secedes from Chicago, you people are hopeless. Enjoy your taxes and your over-lords as well as that subway sluice. Good riddance to the sheeple of Illinois.