The idea of a tax on satellite TV is alive again in Illinois.
The idea, says State Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside), is to offset the money the state would give up in incentives to up to three companies considering moves into or out of Illinois.
“One thing we’ve heard is … we’re taking money from the state,” Zalewski says of critics of corporate incentives. “What we’re doing (as an alternative) is … we’re going to deal with user fees, which is what we’ve done in the past.”
Satellite providers argue it’s just a punishment for them offering television service more efficiently than their cable competitors. The tax would be 5 percent of the providers’ gross receipts and is expected to raise $75 million a year.
A chemical company called Univar is considering moving from Redmond, Wash., to Downers Grove. ADM is moving its corporate headquarters out of Decatur and is considering Chicago among the destinations. And the merged Office Max–Office Depot will land in either Office Max’s home of Naperville or Office Depot’s home of Boca Raton, Fla.
The latest proposal for ADM requires, in exchange for $24 million worth of incentives over twenty years, that the company — among other things — move at least a hundred full-time employees from outside Illinois into Decatur within five years; and create an internal committee to promote job creation in Decatur.