Friday, December 02, 2011

Ballard Meeting With CME Executives Confirmed

WISH-TV is reporting that Mayor Greg Ballard met this week with executives of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to discuss the possibility of the global commodities exchange firm relocating its long-time headquarters in Chicago to Indianapolis. The Illinois General Assembly had been considering the enactment of special tax breaks for CME and Sears, both of whose executives have flirted with the idea of leaving Chicago in the wake of massive tax increases enacted there to deal with a multi-billion dollar structural budget deficit, during its recently adjourned fall veto session. The legislature adjourned without reaching agreement on the tax deal, although Illinois legislative leaders said there was still plenty of time to take up the issue early next year. Gov. Mitch Daniels had earlier denied rumors that Indiana officials were courting CME with an offer reportedly worth $150 million a year to the company in tax savings. Eric Halvorson has the details on Ballard's meeting with CME executives:
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was meeting with top executives with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Friday as part of continuing discussions about bringing the CME to Indiana.
Ballard spokesman Marc Lotter tells WISH-TV that the mayor left a meeting with the U.S. Council of Mayors early so he could attend the meeting in Chicago before returning to Indianapolis.
While details of any proposal presented to CME were not made available, Lotter said the city and state have a “very compelling opportunity for them. ”
We’ve heard these rumors for some time. But, until now, we’ve talked to no local public official who was willing to discuss the matter on-the-record . . .
This would be huge for Indianapolis,” said WISH-TV financial expert Peter Dunn of Pet the Planer, “Bringing the exchange to Indy would greatly improve Indy's place in the financial industry. In addition, this would mean several high-paying jobs for Hoosiers. A move would be the ultimate coup for Indiana and Indianapolis.
Indiana is one of three states being discussed as a new home for the CME. Other supposed suitors are in the south. Back in October, the Naples News reported a prediction from Florida’s Governor Rick Scott. At that time, he said, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is “either going to Texas or Florida” – and, if that happens, he said the CME “is going to move 2000 jobs.”
I honestly don't believe CME has any intention of relocating to Indiana. This is all gamesmanship intended to put enough pressure on Illinois officials to give them the tax breaks their hearts desire. Under the plan floated by the Illinois legislature, money the CME earns on trades with persons and entities outside Illinois would not be subject to the state's corporate income tax. CME is currently one of Illinois' largest corporate taxpayers. The reality is that, like Indiana, many corporations in Illinois pay a relatively small share of the revenues the state collects. Service industries like CME, however, usually wind up paying a disproportionate share of the corporate income taxes compared to manufacturing-based firms, which typically have generous tax breaks that significantly limit their tax liability.


guy77money said...

I agree and Ballard is being used to sweeten the pot for CME.

Pete Boggs said...

Don't be so sure that RTW legislation couldn't help move this thing forward. A well known fortune 500 company deliberately avoided Chicago's convention center in favor of a FL location during the past two weeks, to escape union crap, This was a five million dollar expenditure for that company which it makes several times a year. Indy is on that company's list, Chicago isn't & there are many large companies following suit. The IL legislature won't likely do anything about it's union problem.