Tax hike concerns aside, CME to stay put

By Reuters
Posted Jan. 28 at 1:53 p.m.

CME Group Inc., which runs the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, has no plans to leave the city, despite concerns over Illinois’ recent tax hike, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

“We are not planning to leave Chicago,” the spokeswoman said in response to an e-mailed query from Reuters, after Fox Chicago News reported that CME was “threatening” to leave its hometown.

This month Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn raised the state’s income tax rate to 5 percent, from 3 percent, and the corporate tax rate to 7 percent, from 4.8 percent. Both hikes are set to expire after four years.

Businesses, including the CME, have condemned the increases, saying they will hurt jobs and push businesses out of state.

“I think the last thing we want to do is move out of Illinois,” Fox Chicago News quoted CME Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy as say. Fox mistakenly identified Duffy as CME’s chief executive.

“We don’t want to do that. But at the same time, we’re a publicly held company, and we have to do what’s in the best interest of our shareholders,” Duffy said, according to Fox.

Duffy said he was willing to hear offers from other states, according to the network. A CME spokesman told Reuters CME has not received any such offers.

The CME spokeswoman said Fox’s interpretation of Duffy’s comments as a threat to leave the city were overblown, but reiterated the exchange operator’s concern over the tax increase.


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