Nebraska comes calling for Caterpillar

By Associated Press
Posted March 29 at 3:09 p.m.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman is one of the people trying to persuade Caterpillar to move the headquarters of its mining and construction equipment business out of Illinois.

Heineman’s spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that Nebraska was one of at least four states that contacted Caterpillar about uprooting its Peoria, headquarters after Illinois raised its income tax rate in January.

Heineman told Caterpillar Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman that Nebraska deals with its budget woes by cutting government spending, not raising taxes.

Oberhelman discussed the recruiting efforts in a letter to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Ill., reported that Texas and South Dakota also contacted Oberhelman.

Oberhelman says he wants to keep Caterpillar in Illinois, but he doesn’t like the direction of the state’s policies.

Read more about the topics in this post: , ,

Companies in this article


Read more about this company »


  1. Rob March 29 at 3:44 pm

    Maybe he should have run for governor. Sounds like he is looking for a big bail out from the state to stay.

  2. Anthony March 29 at 3:57 pm

    Past 6 months and stock is up over 40%…does he not like how his company is performing? No negative effect so far with the tax increase. Good corporate citizen, yeah right, ready to dump on workers who over a generation have put sweat equity into his coffers. Not like it matters, CAT already has plants around the world, including soon in China. Does the company pay Illinois Tax on those as well?

  3. John C March 29 at 4:26 pm

    Tired of the whole CAT issue-
    let it go. .. … if they leave they leave
    nothing we can do about that for now

    Let Peoria worry

  4. Amy March 29 at 4:50 pm

    I continue to be amazed at how people are dumping on CAT instead of the corrupt politicians who have done nothing but spend and spend and now tax and tax. I don’t blame any company for looking for better business climate. It doesn’t matter how well the company is doing –why should they give more to the state? Particularly when we know what the politicians do with our money– give it away to all their corrupt friends.

  5. subiaco10 March 29 at 5:46 pm

    Unfortunately Chicago and Detroit have become synonymous with the “pinnacle of corruption”, I would not be surprised if they leave.

  6. carlosd March 29 at 6:02 pm

    Sounds like corporate blackmail.

  7. dudeofmany March 29 at 6:29 pm

    You go Quinn/Madigan/Cullerton! Keep that spend and tax merrygoround spinning. You can test whether or not you can collect enough taxes from the public workers that vote for you in order to pay the bills. That will be the majority of taxpayers left in Illinois after those businesses that can leave this miserable political slop house that you have created.

  8. jack March 29 at 7:22 pm

    CAT left years ago
    CAT is not going to close plants they just poured money into here lately



    Illinois will rebound once we get rid of the clowns in springfield
    This is the moment we all have been waiting for i will sacrafice CAT for a stable Illinois one that I love , One that is proud, One that rebuilt after a fire, One that never sleeps, We are a proud state and we need to band together forget Wisconsin Forget all the idiots in Indiana Forget Detroit this is our state time to fire back and let the world know Illinois and Chicago wont go down easy..
    I personally want to thank Daley, Quninn , Madigan and all the other screwballs —-Blago was right everyone lynched him but the guy was right he told us this would happen and look it it happening.

    lets get these clowns out of springfield i voted for quinn i made a mistake and mad as hell —– recall recall recall we want our state back you idiots

  9. alex March 29 at 8:54 pm

    Nebraska, the only place that might be more miserable than Peoria.

  10. designer one March 29 at 9:18 pm

    Great story, move now, but take more companies with you. Quinn is the cause of this mass exodus which should start shortly. The way to stop it is RECALL, RECALL, RECALL. Illinois land of corruption.

  11. Steve999 March 29 at 10:01 pm


    Easter is coming up soon…. Why dont we march on Springfield, grab every Il state elected official and crucify one for every mile off a street pole from Springfield to Chicago. Maybe the Romans did have it right after all about how to deal with a corrupt civil servant!!!! I bet right after that, we wouldnt have any more pay to play politics or corruption!

  12. Steve999 March 29 at 10:04 pm

    Sorry had to finish my thought and I apologize for posting again… But only around Easter. I am sure we can come up with something else for other holidays. Valentines day… You guessed it.. Machine gun them in a garage…. Oops guns arent allowed in Chicago…. hum… what to do.. I know just ask any felon… They have guns… unlike the law abiding citizen that they just robbed at gunpoint…. Or the countless gun homocides i keep reading about…. Go figure….

  13. Buckgrove March 30 at 5:57 a.m.

    CAT will not move to Nebraska. It’s a wasteland. Nothing to do. What will all the executives and their families do with their time?

  14. RCK March 30 at 8:23 a.m.

    Wonder how many CAT employees voted for Quinn. HAHA. CAT not going anywhere. They’ll get the equivalent of the Health Care vouchers that the corruptocrats provide for their cronies. The sad sack Quinn will help CAT evade the taxes that all of us are forced to pay. At this point in time, if you vote for a democrat, you should automatically be designated mentally handicapped.

  15. Jay Perry March 30 at 8:55 a.m.

    Heineman cuts spending by letting his state fall apart. Taxes here are already substantially higher than any of Illinois ’s proposals. CAT will be miserable here and the company will fall apat just like their new state.

  16. globebag March 30 at 10:03 a.m.

    Unions are a cancerous special interest group. Unions should be disallowed as they serve no purpose in todays society. THey have ruined the state of Illinois. Look at all the right-to-work states. No corruption. No budget crisis. No selling bonds to fund ridiculous pensions. Madigan(s), Quin, Blago, Rush, Jackson, Durbin Schakowsky have mortgaged our kids future with their derelict actions. They are felons and should be prosecuted.

  17. JF March 30 at 11:24 a.m.

    Fortunately, taxes do not rank as the number one consideration for businesses when selecting where they do business, a consideration yes, but not an overwhelming one. Were that the case, New York would be a ghost town. What is more important is whether they can attract a quality workforce, something that might be a challenge in Nebraska, but then again, they are currently based in Peoria.

  18. pete m March 30 at 11:25 a.m.

    I think at this time it’s incredibly important to remember that Mike PrIce has Great Food Service Leads (whatever that means) with good credit scores, mailing addresses and phone numbers.

    Thank you Mike for yout valuable contribution to the dicussion

  19. John March 30 at 11:35 a.m.

    I have noticed that some of the people posting on here have an arrogant-nonchalant-indifferent attitude about the possibility of Caterpillar leaving the state. I think it is a mistake to think CAT is bluffing and I don’t think it would be very wise to assume they are. If CAT leaves it will be the begining of a snowball effect. The governor needs to pull out of the stops and nip this in the bud whatever it takes.

  20. Tony B March 30 at 11:36 a.m.

    CAT won’t leave – its too heavily invested in the state. There’s a small chance that they’d relocate their corporate HQ, but that would have little impact on the budget revenues.

    As to the other comments on here:
    1) yes, you can blame companies for bailing on a state that they idly watched, if not willingly helped, sell short future Illinois residents.

    2) yes, politicians – especially here – are corrupt. That doesn’t mean corporations don’t have a duty to their locality.

    3) yes, Democrats are awful. But Republicans are worse. This country needs a center-left, liberal party. This center-right v. extreme-right dichotomy is a huge reason for the recession, gov’t deficits and the developed world’s worst public services.

  21. alex March 30 at 11:42 a.m.

    people who bring talk about unions being cancerous to our modern society, in a thread that has nothing to do with unions, and without really understanding how unions can be good are cancerous to our society.

  22. Matt303 March 30 at 12:20 pm

    People bashing Nebraska as a wasteland, with nothing to do? Why don’t you ask the executives and senior leadership at Berkshire, ConAgra, Union Pacfic, Peter Keiwit, and Mutual of Omaha what they do in the wasteland. Five Corporate Headquarters for five Fortune 500’s within about one square mile. It’s not an old west town with folks walking around in overalls. I lived in Omaha for three short years. It is a great business community and the people there are so friendly. Anyone relocating from Peoria to Omaha or Lincoln would not be making a big step downward in their lifestyle. They are similar in size, but Nebraska is a much more friendly place to do business.

  23. martin March 30 at 1:06 pm

    Nebraska should look at their own tax rates first.

    Average tax payer in Nebraska pays 7% in state income tax. (Illinois is 5% with the increase)

    Corporate tax in Nebraska, 7.85%. Illinois with the increase is at 7%

  24. Cheryl March 30 at 1:17 pm

    Then he should go live in Nebraska.

  25. Sourpatch March 30 at 1:21 pm

    The tax increase would not affect past performance…this is an issue going forward. This CEO should do everythngthing he can do to maximize profits. IL is not friendly to business. Gov Quinn refuses to rein in spending..and is expecting taxpayers and business to pay more.

    Everyone but Quinn is tired of the reckless spending. CAT is doing the right thing for their company in moving. It will hurt IL as tax revenue falls further, but maybe this will help Quinn see the light? Doubtful, but one can hope he stops siding with a handful of unions and state workers ans that he starts to realize he needs to focus on taxpayers…not state worker unions.

  26. Bones March 30 at 2:30 pm

    “This CEO should do everything he can do to maximize profits”

    That’s the problem. When does “everything” go to far? Like moving operations overseas? I understand a company’s commitment to it’s shareholders but what happened to the committment to it’s work force? There needs to be a balance between being a good corporate citizen and maximizing profits.
    IL is not friendly to business? That’s quite a broad statement. I’m sure the large number of companies that have headquarters here like Allstate, US Cellular, Sara Lee, Walgreens, Motorola, etc, may disagree.

    And count me as one who saves his sympathy for others when companies like CAT who are making money hand over fist, start complaining about tax increases. As everyone else is being asked to make sacrafices, why aren’t companies asked to the do the same? We can ask our union employees to make concessions but we can’t ask companies to pay a fairer share of the pie? Please…. TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS DON’T WORK!!!!!!! Bush’s tax cuts from a decade ago are solid proof that it doesn’t work!

  27. FormerAuroran March 30 at 2:50 pm

    CAT has been gaming the system for years and will continue to do so. All these other states may give CAT corporate a break but they’ll extract their pound of flesh from the workers. States don’t run on air despite what the blowhard troll governors say. I now live in a state where teatards control the legislature with a rethug governor. We rank in the lower quartile in all quality of life categories including education and they still want to cut. I wouldn’t move employees here and subject them to the very limited choices of decent school districts. I’ve been observing Illinois and how they are confronting their fiscal issues and for the first time in my life feel like the leadership is responding appropriately.

  28. Matt303 March 30 at 2:50 pm

    Martin… you are correct. Nebraska’s top tax rate is 6.84% while the Illinois rate is 5%. But the big difference there is the taxable base. Illinois taxes you on an AGI base, while Nebraska taxes you on true taxable income. As someone who has paid taxes to both states, I’d say I feel penalized by Illinois for having a mortgage, and for making charitable contributions.

    On the corporate front, Illinois has a true income tax burden of 9.5%. You have to consider that pesky little replacement tax unfortunately.

  29. mike March 30 at 2:54 pm

    Matt 303
    Mind your own business and tend to your own state okay.. butt out..
    go read your own business papers…

    sick of you rednecks bashing illinois – all i remember from nebraska was desolation and the stench of animals it was and always will be a state of farmland and cows 3 or 4 big companies and warren buffett

  30. Matt303 March 30 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks Mike. My zip code is 60657 and my “own business paper” is Crain’s Chicago. I am an MBA, Brown Line rider, and I enjoy CSO events at Ravinia. Want to carry on with your “redneck” charges?

    Please read my post. I was defending Nebraska (Omaha), as a nice friendly city, with a good business climate. I said that it is not a step down in terms of lifestyle as compared to Peoria, and that in fact Omaha and Peoria are similar in size. So yes, if saying Omaha is similar to Peoria is somehow “bashing Illinois” then I guess I am guilty as charged.