What’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats? Here’s a perfect example of two states – Illinois and Wisconsin.
Illinois is a state that has been under Democratic rule for at least 10 years. Yes, it currently has a Republican Governor, Bruce Rauner. However, everyone knows the legislature is run by Democrats and the likes of Michael Madigan, who have veto proof and a super-majority in both houses. Democrats effectively run Illinois and have for years.
Wisconsin is run by a Conservative and tea party favorite Republican, Scott Walker. The legislature in Wisconsin is controlled by Republicans.
Here is a tale of 2 Costcos as told by Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson on AM 560 “The Morning Answer”:
H/T Chicago’s Morning Answer:
DAN: Illinois and Wisconsin — So I was speaking to a group of commercial real estate brokers at lunch yesterday. And this guy was telling me, you know, about the climate in Illinois from their perspective as a businessperson that operates in the real estate sector, commercial real estate development. Talk to investors. Talks to big companies, in terms of location decisions, right? So he tells me, we’re talking back and forth about and what’s going on politically and where we find ourselves, and all of the intractable, seemingly intractable, problems that afflict us. But he said, “Let me give you an example of what’s happening and where Illinois is vis-à-vis, like, Wisconsin. Two Costco’s — he’s talking to a honcho at Costco. So they put two Costco outlets, one just south of Mitchell Field, just south of Milwaukee. I think it’s in New Berlin. I’m not sure, but just south of the airport in Milwaukee. And another in Melrose Park, here, in the near west suburbs, Cook County.
AMY: I’m familiar with Melrose Park.
DAN: Well, I’m just saying. You know we have people downstate that listen to us, and other states that listen to us. I’m just giving a little geography. Importantly, in Cook County, it costs the same to build the facilities — $33 million dollars for both.
AMY: Square footage is the same?
DAN: Yeah. And the same cost to build. The sales are the same, substantially the same, within a few shekels, at the two outlets. The net for Costco at their Milwaukee-area store: $8 million a year. That’s what they net in volume business. The net at their Melrose Park location …
AMY: Oh, can I guess?
DAN: What do you think it is?
AMY: $5 million?
AMY: That’s it? Because of all the taxes?
DAN: It’s the taxes, and shakedown fees. You know … He talked about, like, there’s a $50,000 a year roof inspection fee, and all of these other layers and layers of taxes, and because we have so many units of government, and fees, and basically, shakedown scams. That’s basically a difference of 13x in terms of return. $8 million dollars just north of the cheese curtain in Milwaukee, a year, that’s their net. $600,000 in Melrose Park in Cook County.
AMY: And sales are the same, pretty much the same.
DAN: Rauner tried to get a meeting with the CEO of Costco. He said, look, basically, he didn’t take the meeting. We have nothing to talk about. I mean, he’s not blaming Rauner. We just have nothing to talk about. We have nothing to talk about, in terms of locating more outlets here, doing business in Illinois, until something changes in Illinois, because it makes absolutely no sense. And all you have to do is share that vignette about the tale of two communities — Milwaukee and Cook County.
AMY: Wow. That is huge difference!
DAN: Massive, isn’t it?
AMY: That’s unbelievable. We’re lucky we even have Costco here, with numbers like that.
DAN: No kidding!
In 2015, over 22,000 people left the state. In the Chicago area alone there were over 6,000 residents who moved out of state!
Illinois has one of the worst ranked states for unemployment. The Land of Lincoln has been hemorrhaging residents because of punishingly high workers’ compensation costs and soaring property-tax bills. Many businesses are treading water or performing triage.
Illinois is home to some of the highest property taxes in the nation, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.
Compared with pre-recession levels in January 2008, Illinois has 90,000 fewer manufacturing jobs.
Illinois companies, including steel fabricators, train-car manufacturers, and welding companies, save almost $10 million in premiums every year just by moving to Indiana.
Chief Executive Magazine’s “2014 Best and Worst States for Business” report ranked Illinois 48th out of 50, with many CEOs venting their opinions on why wrote:
Illinois is rated in the worst category; their taxing scheme is deleterious toward small business … The Illinois House assembly is inept in addressing the hard issues.… They are a taxing and spending machine with little regard to the consequences and impacts to its citizens and businesses.
Illinois is a horrendous state in which to do business. It is governed by a class of incompetent, corrupt politicians. It’s like doing business in a third-world country.
And then there’s the matter of property taxes, which are the second-highest in the United States.
Finally, there’s Michael Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House and chairman of the state’s Democratic Party. Speaker Madigan is the longest-serving speaker in state history and is referred to as the “Velvet Hammer — a.k.a. the Real Governor of Illinois.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing a property-tax freeze and workers’ compensation reform to bring costs in line with those in peer states. But Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has repeatedly dismissed these calls for reform as “nonbudgetary,” and thus not worthy of discussion.
As long as Madigan is owned by the AFL-CIO, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Chicago Teachers Union, and, of course, the SEIU — the Service Employees International Union — which have been successfully funding his reelection campaigns for years residents of Illinois won’t see any change.
As a result, Illinois has at least $111 billion in unfunded pension liability, not counting liability for health costs – about one dollar in four collected by the state is paying for public-sector pensions.
In addition, property taxes are so high in Illinois that 34 percent of households in the state spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. As Illinois Policy expressed it, taxes are “like a second mortgage,” averaging $3,939 a year, the second highest in the nation, and only $32 below New Jersey, the country’s worst offender.
The silence from Springfield over fixing anything is deafening and will remain until Madigan is ousted. Until then, expect the hemorrhaging of companies and jobs to continue out of the Democratic controlled state of Illinois to states with Republican control like Indiana and Wisconsin.
H/T The New American
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