Jimmy John's founder contemplates moving headquarters out of Illinois

Jimmy John's founder contemplates moving headquarters out of Illinois

UPDATE: Here's a better link to the podcast of today's Penny for Your Thoughts program that includes a call from Jimmy John Liautaud.

CHAMPAIGN – The founder of Jimmy John's said he has applied for Florida residency and may recommend that his corporate headquarters move out-of-state as a result of the Illinois tax increases enacted last week.

Jimmy John Liautaud told The News-Gazette on Tuesday that he is angry about the moves, which boosted the individual income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and the corporate income tax from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent.

"All they do is stick it to us," he said, adding that the Legislature and governor showed "a clear lack of understanding."

"I could absorb this and adapt, but it doesn't feel good in my soul to make it happen," Liautaud said.

Jimmy John's, which has its corporate headquarters on Fox Drive in Champaign, has more than 1,000 sandwich shops nationwide, many of them franchise operations.

Champaign has been its corporate base, but Liautaud said it will not necessarily continue that way.

Liautaud said he has been contacted by "multiple pro-business states" that made him feel "wanted and important."

"I enjoy being courted and the process," he said.

Once he collects information on alternative sites, he will present it to the company's board of directors and ask the board to decide.

As for himself, "my family and I are out of here," he said.

Liautaud said he has rented a house in south Florida and his children started school there last week. He said he has applied for Florida residency and plans to commute to Champaign.

He said he doesn't know yet whether he will put his home on West Armory Street on the market.

Jimmy John's employs 100 at the corporate office in Champaign and has 190 other employees who work elsewhere but come to Champaign every four weeks, Liautaud said.

Some people may not realize how many travel to Champaign-Urbana as a result of Jimmy John's being here – many of them for training.

Liautaud said his business accounts for "350 motel nights a week in Champaign, 1,400 motel nights a month."

"They eat at Cheddars," get automotive service at Sullivan-Parkhill and "drink at Carlos (Nieto's) bars," he said.

Liautaud also lashed out at union protesters who demonstrated against a "low-cost" contractor his company is using to build a Jimmy John's in Urbana. That restaurant will provide 30 jobs, he said.

He said he's sick of being "pummeled."

"I'm not sophisticated enough, smart enough or politically correct enough to absorb it all," he said.

Jimmy John's offices occupy 23,000 square feet on Fox Drive, and Liautaud said he had considered buying a 20,000-square-foot building just north of those offices. Those plans went out the window with the tax increase, he said.

He said he also planned to hire 80 more people at the executive level.

With regard to the tax increase, Liautaud criticized the way the Legislature "snuck it through" and called the procedure "sneaky."

When asked whether Illinois could do anything now to change his mind, he said "the state could say they made a mistake" and "apologize."

Marcelyn Love, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said she could not address the Jimmy John's situation specifically.

But she said the temporary increase in the corporate income tax "will help stabilize the budget, making Illinois more attractive to businesses."

"Through this plan, we're taking the necessary steps to strengthen the economy, attract new investment and put people to work," she said.

Liautaud would not say specifically what states had contacted with him about relocating, but expressed admiration for Indiana. He cited a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune placed by the city of Indianapolis, which invited Illinois companies to come and enjoy "a much more stable, affordable and pro-growth economic environment."

James North, president of Jimmy John's, echoed many of the same sentiments.

"I absolutely love it here," North said. "But when you do the math, it doesn't add up. Florida looks pretty nice right now."

Liautaud also said he "loves" Champaign. He said his mother and dad met here, and noted that his family has given the University of Illinois $5 million to establish the Liautaud Graduate School for Business in Chicago.

He added that he owns 3,400 acres of farmland in Champaign County and sponsors events at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Liautaud said building and operating a business like Jimmy John's is "not comfortable, not easy, not nice."

"We make money a dime at a time," he said.

He opened his first sandwich shop in Charleston in 1983 and opened his third shop, in Champaign, in 1987.

"I'm not a greedy American pig," Liautaud added. "I'm a hard-working, bread-baking, meat-slicing delivery guy who happens to be immensely successful."

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Cynical Sam wrote on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 am
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The line is now forming for businesses leaving the state. Good job Pat Quinn. Thanks alot!

QUOTE---> Liautaud said his business accounts for "350 motel nights a week in Champaign, 1,400 motel nights a month.They eat at Cheddars," get automotive service at Sullivan-Parkhill and "drink at Carlos (Nieto's) bars," he said.

A nice example of the trickle down effect. Are you liberal Dems catching on now?

WiltonDiary wrote on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 am

Oj poor Jimmy John, first he complains about his Champaign County real-estate taxes, now state of Illinois taxes, when Illinois still has one of the lowerest tax structures in America. Obviously this man doens' believe in supporting his community or state and wants to now pack up his goods and move to Florida.

Obviously this man is strugglilng financially.

Wealthy Republicans are selfish, as they maintain their faith in those failed Reagan-era mantras: greed is good and taxes are bad.

Whatever happened to our belief in a fair progressive tax system that puts a proportionately greater burden on the wealthiest Americans — a pay-what-you-can-afford approach — because allowing an upper class to accumulate disproportional wealth at the expense of the middle class is destabilizing to a viable democracy?

Even if we managed to elect the most competent person to every office in the land, we would still not have good government if the citizenry were unwilling to fully finance it. If, as I hear Republicans repeatedly preach, it is a privilege to live in the United States, why don’t they want to pay for it?

Cynical Sam wrote on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 am
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Sure, punish the wealthy, it's their fault that a third of the country wants to sit at home and collect entitlements. As far as punishing the wealthy, I can't ever remember a time that a POOR person gave me a job. How about you?

WiltonDiary wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

Sam: You are entitled to your opinions but you are making up facts. 30% of Americans are not sitting at home collecting entitlements. You comments border on the ridiculous and sound more like FOX news and Republican talking points. Obvously you are one of those sitting at home with way too much time on your hands.

What have you ever done to make your country or community a better place to live?

Republican's label for Tax cuts for the wealthy: Tax Cuts.

Republican's Label for Tax cuts for the poor and middle class: Entitlements

Cynical Sam wrote on January 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm
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I never said it was 30%. I said one third, that would be 33%

kiel wrote on January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Poor people do create jobs: they vote for politicians, they employ themselves and start their own businesses, and, by golly, when they happen to have enough money around, they buy an over-rated sandwich or two.

bluegrass wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I've posted this before, but I think it's worth repeating. The Tax Foundation reports that the state and local tax burden combined for Illinois, put us 30th in the nation in 2008 at 9.3%. Add two percentage points for the new tax, and that puts us at 11.3%, which lands us in the top 5 highest tax rates in the nation using 2008 numbers. This does not take into consideration the corporate tax rate. http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/336.html

The numbers are quite simple, the state legislature and the governor have decided they're going to take more, and not fix the budget. It is a systemic problem, spending more money than we take in year after year after year, with no end in sight, and no plan to change.

And for someone to say good riddance to Jimmy John? What silliness. A local businessman and entrepreneur who has given so much to this community, in addition to the tax revenue and business revenue he creates in this town? It will be nothing but bad for this community to see him leave, and all you who voted for Quinn are responsible.

mankind wrote on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 am

So, even the little town of Champaign bears the trademark of success in corporate America: The willingness to plant your foot squarely in the face of those who enabled you and use it as a stepladder to make even bigger piles of cash! Let me play my violin as an accompaniment to your sad tale of multiple homes, thousands of acres of farmland, millions of dollars in loose change, and the evil government holding you down.

Cynical Sam wrote on January 19, 2011 at 10:01 am
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How about this scenario: Jimmy John Liautaud WORKED HARD for his success. Ever heard of that, working hard to accumulate wealth? I know, what a silly concept.

mankind wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

No doubt Mr. Liautaud did work hard. But there's way more to it than working hard and being smart, and low taxes. I wonder how successful his business model would be in the tax-free tropical paradise of Somalia? There's a lot of luck involved, too, and you're more likely to be blessed with good fortune in a society where people are willing and obligated to sacrifice for the greater good. It's amazing that Mr. Liautaud points out the trickle-down effects of his business on the surrounding community, but he doesn't seem to be aware of the trickle-down effects of the surrounding community that paved the way for his success. I hope he remembers that early on, when there were no mountains of cash to cover up mistakes, and when his fate hung in the balance, it tipped in his favor in Champaign.

WiltonDiary wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

I’d like to remind the wealthiest among us that they did not acquire their wealth all by themselves. They needed competent workers (educated at public expense), transportation and communications networks, laws and regulations (yes, regulations, such as those making their rarefied air fit to breathe) ... and for this vast web of support, the rich do in fact have a greater debt to society than the poor or even the middle class. So stop whining and pay up.

ronaldo wrote on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Support? Please.

Were these "comptent workers" slaves, or were they paid a wage for their work?

The ignorance which prevails in certain ideologies amazes me. He "owes" the workers who worked for him NOTHING. They received what they agreed to work for. Nothing more, nothing less. Why on earth does he "owe" them more than what they agreed to work for???? And unless you're going to publically declare your comments to be ludicrous, then tell us all EXACTLY WHAT they're owed.

Excellent employers go above and beyond what they've agreed to pay their employees who have agreed to work for their bosses for a specified wage, but certainly they are owed nothing.

And all that garble about using infrastructure, who do you think is paying the taxes to use those roads? Are you aware of the absurdly high taxes that trucking companys have to pay to use the roads in order to get the supplies to his restaurant, and those costs are undoubtedly passed on? Do you have the slightest clue on how business and the economy operates???

jm wrote on January 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

Yea yea, JJ is mostly controlled by a privet equality group at this point. He is really just saying that he is moving to Florida. Who can blame him, I would not live in CU if I was a millionaire.

WiltonDiary wrote on January 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

MANY millionaires live in Champaign County. In fact Augie (August) Meyer a Billionaire was a proud resident of Champaign, until his death. He was also the first resident of Champaign County to be listed on the Forbes 400 and was always more than happy to call Champaign home.

The late Marajen Chinigo, owner of the News Gazette, traveled the world, had homes in California and Italy and was never ashamed to call Champaign home.

ajbuckle wrote on January 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

This would be a huge loss for Champaign and Illinois. Illinois politicians ought to be ashamed of themselves for what they are doing to this once fine state. I sincerely hope that Mr. Liautaud can find it in his heart to stick it out here in Champaign with us.

And to those of you feeding off the public trough who think they can criticize this man: You should examine you own selfish motivations before you cast stones.

WiltonDiary wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

Jimmy John and the comments here all make for great political theater. But businesses and voters in Illinois, and around the country, should take a closer look at the facts and figures, including their own.

After 22 years of not raising income taxes, Illinois saw its budget shortfall grow to $15 billion. It had the lowest state credit rating in the nation, and it wasn’t paying its bills to hospitals and schools.

The Illinois tax rate was low before and remains low for big states. The income tax will rise from a flat 3 percent to a flat 5 percent. That will cause pain at the lower and middle levels of the economic scale, but the state’s millionaires will probably stay put. (The top rate is 10.55 percent in California, 8.97 percent in New Jersey and New York, and 7.75 percent in Wisconsin.)

Illinois’s corporate tax is going up to 9.5 percent from 7.3 percent, but that by itself is unlikely to send businesses packing. What businesses crave most is a stable environment in which to make profits, and Illinois was anything but stable. Businesses tend not to like it when health and education systems break down.

sssharpie wrote on January 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

What's the point of the fact that Illinois didn't raise income taxes for 22 years? That doesn't make it right! Similarly, why do you use the fact that Il having the large budget shortfall is sufficient reason to increase the taxes? Why not LOWER THE SPENDING??? (Answer- because the liberals in the state are hooked on entitlements!)

The Illinois "tax rate" is NOT low. As was stated above, the rate was ranked high and is now ranked even higher! "Big states" means what? New York, California, and Texas? So Illinois is good in comparison to them? What about the region- you know, all the little states of Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin that stand to gain from Illinois' incompetence and overindulgence.

Those in power (aka Democrats) have increased our state spending. Blago introduced so many new social programs without having funds, catered to overdemanding unions, and Quinn and the legislature have done nothing to end or fix them, well, besides raising taxes on those actually earning an income.

Businesses tend to not like it when THEY have to overpay for health and education systems that break down anyways.

Trust me, I work in an industry that mutually supports other businesses only in Illinois, and unfortunately, statistics don't lie. Long-term business growth in the state as a whole is not booming, it is definitely declining. Contrary to your (and liberals') argument that businesses crave mainly "stability", the tax increase, placing us in the top tier, will surely not improve the business situation.

momof4 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

I had no idea he was even in Champaign. I dont blame him at all. I am looking to move my family out of this god forsaken state as well. Way to go Illinois!

Studebaker wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

Our community will be *much* worse off for him leaving, but I can't blame him at all.
You haters should be ashamed of yourselves. Success doesn't make you a villain. This is a local guy who built a 1,000 store national operation. He has been successful and, he has given back millions to the University and the community (and paid his state and local and property taxes), in addition to employing a large number of local people. If tax-avoidance was his priority, he would have saved millions by fleeing Illinois long ago.
The fact is this income/corporate tax increase is excessive, especially in these economic times. The lack of accompanying it with spending cuts or perhaps house-cleaning after two corrupt governors is insulting in the extreme. The fact is that despite the incredibly high taxes in this town and state, the schools are horrible and it isn't safe to walk the streets at night.
The fact is Illinois' trajectory is pretty bleak, and this is another sign of very bad times to come. This tax increase doesn't even fill the budget gap. That means there are more on the way.
Again, our community will be sorry to see him go, and I fear its just the beginning.

Ellen Finch wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

If he doesn't want to support the state he lives in, then I'm glad he's leaving. Living in Illinois costs money. The infrastructure that Jimmy uses on a daily basis doesn't get set up or maintained for free. A big reason that the state of Illinois is so broke right now is because we have some of the lowest income tax rates in the US, even AFTER this raise. 32 Sates have higher taxes than Illinois does, and again that's AFTER this rate hike.

Income tax in Illinois hasn't been raised since 1989, and in the TWENTY TWO years since then, every single thing the state has to buy and maintain has gotten exponentially more expensive. Would you be able to pay your bills if your current salary was still the same as it would have been 22 years ago? I think not.

MikeD wrote on January 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Ellen, I hope your post was meant as a joke. The state income tax is a percentage of individual income. As individual income goes up, so does the tax revenue for the state. If you get a 3% raise each year, so does the state. Every time you get a raise, the state gets a raise. Your comparison of an individual using a salary from 22 years ago is ridiculous. The state would only being using the same "salary" as 22 years ago if all of the individuals were as well.

Also, the suggestion that he doesn't support the state he lives in is ridiculous. He pays property taxes on his home, his farmland, his business property, etc. He directly or indirectly pays significant amounts of motor fuel taxes with all the gas his company's vehicles use. He pays sales taxes on the hotel rooms and restaurant bills for his employees visiting Champaign. He pays unemployment taxes for his employees to the state. He pays personal income taxes to the state. His company pays corporate income taxes to the state. The amount he pays in taxes in a year probably dwarfs the income you will make in your lifetime with that illogical thinking.

Baron762 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm


I'm sorry, but the state has had a raise just about every year, except with this recent decline. You see, the government shouldn't have to change the tax RATE when they want money. The amount of money they receive is based on how well the individuals and the businesses in the area do in regards to income. So as I do well in my job and earn more money, so does the state benefit.

But what they've done is change permanently the amount that we get taxed. They have temporarily lowered our income by 2%, and have permanently lowered our income by 1%. They have permanently set in place a system to get themselves a larger portion of our money than they should get, and as the economy rebounds (in spite of what they did), they will have more money to waste (as governments are prone to do).

A 2% reduction in our pay, which is a 66% increase in what we will pay the state, would have gone over a lot better if they hadn't also fixed their budgets to have increases every year at the same time. They didn't make any cuts, like we will have to make (and thus hurt the local economy); instead, they budgeted increases. This is corrupt government at its best. Worst?

Understanding the percentage game is CRUCIAL. If you've ever bought a house, you know how important a slight percentage difference can be to your bottom line. The most important difference though is that with a mortgage you have a 15- or 30-year debt. With this tax increase, we are going to pay more FOREVER.

This is unless of course we can find a group of people to stand up and do the right thing and pull it back.

ronaldo wrote on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Better check your numbers, Ellen. The only states which have corporate taxes higher than IL's 9.5% reaming that our businesses were just charged with are Iowa (12% over $250k) and MN (9.8%). That's it. We are now the THIRD highest, a far cry from "32".


sscott wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

The only reason why there is a tax increase is so the state leaders can line their own pockets. All they think about is themselves. It's a sad fact that people need to realize. The state is broke because bad decisions are being made by our elected officials. JJ's wealth is not what everyone is ticked off about. What they are ticked off about is that the elected officials live off the sweat of us working stiff's backs and don't lose a wink of sleep over it. And when a pay raise or some of their "benefits" are threatened, the easy solution is to raise taxes.
So good for you JJ for making a statement to the state of Illinois. The trickle down effect will hurt a lot of businesses, so your plan to raise taxes to increase business is moot. Love to see my tax dollars so hard at work.

enuf taxes wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

I run a small business in Illinois. We will be leaving for the same reasons. I don’t blame him for leaving and the board should support the move of corporate as well. The Democrats cannot control their spending habits nor do they care to. Until we vote out the Durbins and Frerichs things will continue to get worse.

irv96 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

As a Floridian, I cordially invite not only Mr. Liautaud to Florida, but the rest of yous as well! It's 82 degrees in Miami as I write this. We need more people to buy real estate, come on down!

hambone3408 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

Its a free country. People and money will always migrate to where they are treated best. No one should blame or be surprised if Jimmy or anyone else moves to a friendlier place.

small.biz.owner wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Yes, we all know that Jimmy Liataud's large business has made him very wealthy. But the tax hike is not about him, how much money he makes, or what his assistants may (or may not) do for him. He is a business owner who is expressing the thoughts of MANY business owners in Illinois.
My husband and I are the owners of several small businesses in Champaign. We are not rich like Jimmy but work very hard as all business owners do. What the state is doing to us is extremely shortsighted. Small businesses are hit the hardest by these new taxes (and don't think for a minute that they are temporary.) We will be faced with the choice of either paying these taxes out of our profit margins OR cutting into the largest expense a small business has...payroll. This means job losses, folks.
Indiana is looking pretty good to business owners right now. They are grateful to their business owners. Their taxes do not punish hard work (and yes, profit) and, more importantly, their Workman's Comp laws are extremely reasonable. So I guess that brings us back to job loss...if we move our businesses to Indiana only one of our employees will be able to make the commute so the rest will be jobless in Champaign. The state of Illinois is leaving us with no choice.

Ellen Finch wrote on January 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Their Workman's comp Laws in Indiana are very reasonable to business owners, but not so reasonable for the folks who get hurt on the job at those businesses.

ronaldo wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

The exodus has begun, and more power to him. Listening to Chicago radio it's clear that he's not alone.

As I've said before, only so many of the producers can leave the state before there aren't enough left to support the non-producers. But liberal politicians just don't seem to grasp the basic concepts of simple economics.

localreader wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I see this less as a Republican or Democrat issue, and more about personal interest. He states he has the money to absorb the loss from increased income taxes, but he is moving to a state without income taxes. He is uprooting his children and family and applying for residency in Florida, though the business is still here. He will benefit from not having personal income taxes, but still have the customer base of people who will remain here and continue to pay their taxes. He is intelligent, contrary to his assertions. He was educated in a private school, received $25,000 in backing money from his father who made millions off of casting products used by the automobile industry, and admitted to having management problems because all of the people who worked for him were disgruntled with his managment style and quit within months of his startup. A rounded impression of Mr. Liautaud is necessary. Remember that he plans to continue to make money off the local people who work here, pay taxes, and act responsibly.

small.biz.owner wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Please don't make this a personal issue about Jimmy Liataud and his family. I don't know them nor do I care what his family does. What I do know that the negative ramifications of these tax hikes are too important to employers and employees to trivialize the subject of the article. His message is important and needs to be heeded. These tax hikes will affect everyone negatively.

localreader wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

You do have a good point about the damage of the taxes, but the article is about both him and the taxes. I don't mean to make him a saint or villian, but he has personal reasons for leaving the state, and his expectation that the tax base should stay the same is unrealistic. I would prefer that our government does not go bankrupt, and it is hard for me to stomach paying higher taxes, but I can't ask the state to apologize for something that had to be done. What other options were out there?

sssharpie wrote on January 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

"What other options were out there?"

DECREASE SPENDING TO BALANCE THE BUDGET! (and possibly run a surplus!)

Why is it that the largest, most liberal states also have the worst credit ratings? Coincidence?

ronaldo wrote on January 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

And lest anything be left out of your "rounded impression", thus leading to incorrect inferences, his father may have backed him financially with a sizable sum - I don't know. But what I do know is that his father was an immigrant from Lithuania and first worked door to door selling Encyclopedia Brittanica. Undoubtedly, the entire family wealth was built from the ground up, so let's not make this a "silver spoon" issue in any way.

Also, I'm not questioning the validity of this information that you provided, but could you please state your source so we all may read it?

localreader wrote on January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm
ronaldo wrote on January 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Sooooo......it was a $25,000 LOAN, yes LOAN. And with much stricter stipulations than one might have gotten with a small business loan. First, that was the MAXIMUM amount that he was going to be loaned, no exceptions. And the loaner would own 48% of the company while the loan was active? Show me one bank that will loan a maximum of $25k for a business startup and demand 48% of the company in return! Doesn't sound like any sort of a sweetheart deal to me.....sounds more like a headache.

Janet wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Yes, I think we should all just be really mad at Jimmy John for having an opinion about what happens to his money. That will give us all who are too poor to move something to stew about while we sit here waiting for more money to leave our pockets.

Carson Lauffer wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Move and invest in moving vans. Turn out the lights, the party's over.

EMT wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Think of it this way. If you make 1 million a year, Illinois will PAY YOU $50,000.00 every year to stay out of the state.

taylor123 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Some people commenting on here seem to forget. Two former governers are in or going to prison, we have one of THE most corrupt governments in all the union. It is downright embarassing to hear any argument for our state government. Do you really think we are in debt because illinoians are lazy? No. Is it because we didn't pay our taxes? No. It is because we keep voting criminals to State offices. It is from total lack of financial responsibilities from top state government officials.

localreader wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

No, we keep demanding more services and taxes were not raised for 22 years. Children still need to be educated, roads need to be paved, and regardless of elected officials, we still need the street lights to stay on.

sssharpie wrote on January 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Why can't the children be educated, the roads paved, and streetlights lit WITH THE PREVIOUS TAX STRUCTURE? Paying for these basics didn't put us in this mess...

Answer: Because there are entitlements and pork up the wazoo in this state. And since 3/4 of the state lives in Chicagoland, that's where most of the entitlements are.

I should draw attention to a statement that exemplifies the attitude of the Govenor and state legislature. ...Spending in Illinois has skyrocketed in recent years — up approximately 45 percent per capita since 1998, even though the state’s population has grown a mere 4 percent during the period. Yet Quinn says proposals for significant spending cuts are “mean spirited,” all while calling for new and needless expenditures. The governor’s 2010 spending blueprint is laden with pork, including $150,000 for the state’s grape and wine industry, $71,200 for the horseracing and breeding industry, and $500,000 for mosquito abatement."



Basically, cutting spending is viewed as "mean-spirited" instead of needed. Now the working class (businesses and individual income) have to pay more.

WiltonDiary wrote on January 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Please name the second gov that is going to prison. Don't think Blago has been charged with any crimes yet.

Illinois is NOT the most corrupt state in the Union, in fact Illinois is not even in the top 25.

olliecat1 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Blago was convicted of lying to the FBI and has appealed. He is also being retried on 22 other counts. So in fact he has been charged for many crimes.

justsayin... wrote on January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Six Illinois governors have been charged with crimes during or after their governorships; four were convicted, and of those, one (Blagojevich) was first impeached and removed from office.

* Len Small, Republican governor in the 1920s, was indicted in office for corruption. He was acquitted; thereafter, eight of the jurors received state jobs. Among his defense lawyers was former governor Joseph Fifer, who asserted, in pre-trial hearings, that the governorship has the divine right of kings.[3]
* William G. Stratton, Republican governor from 1953 to 1961, was acquitted of tax evasion in 1965.
* Otto Kerner, Jr., Democratic governor in the 1960s, then a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was convicted of 17 count of bribery, conspiracy, perjury, and income-tax charges from his time as governor, and received 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine in 1973. He was prosecuted by future Illinois governor Jim Thompson.[4]
* Dan Walker, Democratic governor in the 1970s, was later involved in the Savings and loan scandals and convicted of federal crimes related to fraudulent loans to himself from his own First American Savings & Loan Association of Oak Brook. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
* George H. Ryan, Republican governor from 1999 to 2003, was convicted in 2006 of corruption related to his time as Illinois Secretary of State in the 1990s, when commercial driver's licenses were issued to unqualified truckers in exchange for bribes, and one of the truckers was involved in a crash that killed six children. Former governor Jim Thompson, whom Ryan had served under as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 1980s, was manager of the law firm that defended Ryan.
* Rod Blagojevich, Democratic governor immediately succeeding Ryan, was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois General Assembly in January 2009 after being tied to multiple "pay to play" schemes.[1] In August 2010, he was convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the investigation, but the jury deadlocked on 23 other charges.[5]

localreader wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Keep blaming politicians for having to pay for basic expenses. Sure. Blame the entire state government of generally responsible people for the problems caused by a select few. They are officials elected by the citizens who live in this state, who are elected to project our voice on issues. It is time to pony-up and pay for the things we use. The state has to balance its checkbook, just as every person who lives here has to balance theirs. It is painful to pay higher taxes, but I want teachers paid and the like.

Citizen1 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Yes, we need street lights. We don't need public employees to retire at 55 with full 85 to 100% of their highest wage, full health care benefits after having minimally worked after excessive vacation, holiday, and sick pay for pay above what the private sector would pay. We don't need to hear that these deadbeats are somehow entitled to these benefits while we can't save for our own retirements because we have to pay for them.

lga wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

This is a nice summary of republican talking points. But it would help if you actually knew your facts. Public employees pay into their retirement funds just as you do -- in fact, it is mandatory. Don't blame the employees because the state mishandled the funds for many, many years.

PaulW wrote on January 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

do you realize that state workers pay into their pension funds, and their pension "generates interest" just as a 401K at a normal business would?
please sit their and call my parents deadbeats, as my dad protects your streets from criminals while making less than most sitting behind a desk. please call my mom a deadbeat for helping the disadvantaged receive their foodstamps & social security benefits.

lga wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Jimmy John neglected to mention that he and his family spend a good part of the year in Florida anyway. So, he simply applied for residency in order to evade personal income tax in the state that has supported him from the beginning.

As for moving the business to Florida, I'll believe it when I see it. I think he is bluffing -- just to call some attention to his "I don't deserve to be taxed" viewpoint.

I wish him luck selling that behemoth of a house on Armory.

olliecat1 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

A few people are saying people must pay for the public services they use, which is correct. But, I'm pretty sure other states offer these as well and some do it cheaper. Are Illinois schools, roads, street lights etc better than Florida's, Iowa's, Indiana's? As for the rate not being raised in 22 years, I'm guessing incomes have risen in that time, therefore revenues have increased.

Abesus wrote on January 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

The tax rate was a fixed percentage. If a person's income increased, his taxes increased. So saying that the tax rate was unchanged for years is a red herring. As people like JJ became more successful, he DID pay more.

Telling JJ that he should be grateful to be taxed even more is incredible. No wonder manufacturers are also leaving IL. Money goes where it's treated well. Great comment by another here, who said that IL is in effect bonusing each million $ income that leaves, 50K per year to do so.

The private sector is being harrassed by the public sector. JJ's just telling the truth. Who pays more than he has to for a given item? Future businesses will calculate in the new rates before making decisions to build here-- or not.

Or did we think they came because they were just grateful of the splendid climate?

Citizen1 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Public employees pay a small fraction into their pension system in exchange for the huge, guarenteed, cost of living adjusted amount they receive in return. They get this in exchange for working reduced shedules compared to non-public employees and wages far higher.

PaulW wrote on January 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

your 401K generates interest too, doesnt it?

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Hey Cynical Sam, and Citizen1: Your state employee hatred is showing...... Everything to you comes down to your misconceptions regarding state employees, and state retirees. Everything is our fault because your state taxes, which state employees pay also, were not increased over the years; and my pension plan was not paid into by the politicians while I paid into it. The pension money which the state was required to pay was used to prevent a tax increase for many years. Now, you both whine. Neither one of you could cut it as a state employee. You would not be able to stomach the public abuse heaped on you by some of the public while they are requesting services. Yeah, state employees get fed up with some of the public; but they cannot allow it to cloud their provision of services. Now that I am retired; I can express my contempt toward the type of the public you represent. Jimmy John's decision to move to Florida was there before the tax increase. He made his money; and Florida's tax rate, and climate is better than Illinois before, and after the tax increase. I hope his businesses continue to do well nation wide; and new franchises sprout up.

UIUCHoopFan wrote on January 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Wow.....he'd move office to Florida and leave his huge private game preserve (I can shoot it when I want to!) in the making outside of Mahomet? The only thing people with money worry about is money....how to keep what they have and get even more of it.

cthom80 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I heard this analogy from one of our customers a few minutes ago and I agree. "Giving the government more money is like giving a heroin addict more heroin." Cook County can have Quinn, his tax rates and anything else that comes with him. The rest of Illinois voted red and we were not represented when the tax increase was passed at midnight.

crossbow wrote on January 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

My wife and I have owned several small businesses over the past 35 years. We have always watched our books and made adjustments by tightening our belts when needed. We dont have a problem paying our fair share of taxes, but, for the state of Illinois to do what they are doing, without tightening their belts, is WRONG. The way, and timing on this vote, lame duckers, STINKS. Successful business people create jobs, why penalize them? Higher taxes will go mainly to Cook County. When Chicago based party leaders are spending millions to get someone elected in Champaign County, we better wake up.

SeekerSTL wrote on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I am sorry to hear that Mr. Liautaud is so unhappy with Illinois. As a successful businessman, I am sure that he has done his research and isn't making a snap decision but based upon my own experience, I doubt that moving to Florida will save him any money. Nothing is free. Florida chooses to generate revenue to pay for their state services with a sales tax instead of personal income tax. While Florida has many attractions, I have found that Florida has a much higher cost of living then we have in Illinois. Everything, from food to housing are more expensive in Florida, in part because so much of Florida's economy is tourism based. Tourist destinations are notorious for higher prices and Florida is no exception. Florida was hit hard by the 2008 economic collapse. People losing their homes could not afford a Florida vacation, resulting in massive layoffs and even temporary closing or "mothballing" of large Florida tourist hotels. Florida was hit hard by home foreclosures as well. In addition, Florida is plagued by frightening tropical storms...how many times has Mr. Liautaud been forced to board up his Champaign, Illlinois home and flee because of impending storms?

jojodancer wrote on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

"and sponsors events at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts." Really?! Jimmy John's hasn't sponsored an event at Krannert Center for at least 7 years. He's really digging for credibility, as he has none (Check out his rambling, embarrassing Parkland College commencement speech, at Krannert Center, no less.)

ronaldo wrote on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

How many programs have you sponsored at Krannert, even more than "seven years ago", if you're even correct? And have you donated $5 MILLION to the U of I School of Business recently?

ractivist wrote on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Studebaker 19 nailed it.

Jimmy is a businessman, it's about the bottom line. Illinois is attacking the bottom line, again. The business (government) of Illinois continues to chase business away due to costs and regulations. The trucking business left due to absurd costs of doing business. The gas taxes are always fifteen cents a gallon higher then our neighbors as well. California and New York are similar examples of liberal failure due to too much government expense......That is where this thread is heading, Liberal spending which leads to extremely high taxes to those who actually do create profit are wise to move to greener pastures if they can. Simple economics; profits do matter. Jimmy makes money, that I can attest to personally. He is also quite generous, a trait not necessarily found in wealthy men. His people make good money and have great perks, again, he is very generous and spontaneous. Yet, he is no fool. It is his money, it is his choice. Thats what America is all about.

I'm glad to see him state the obvious, publicly.

I heard Quinns acceptance speech. Social Justice (spreading the wealth) and transparency where echoed............He is but another Progressive out to destroy the country, one state at a time, unless Obama beats em.............Go Jimmy, Go......... Mr. T saying fools, all the darned leftists, useful idiots to be more accurate..............

ractivist wrote on January 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I forgot to mention Obama's desire to "review" all government regulations. This certainly needs to be done. But the last thing we want is this Socialist / Communist to make that review. Eyes to see folks...
Illinois is the arm pit of the Communist movement. The sooner people wake up to that fact, the sooner we can say "no mas"........Jimmy's situation is but a micro of the macro.....and that aint good in the long run............NIce pic too...

Fed Up wrote on January 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Another one bites the dust! It is not a rich man poor man debate its about Jimmy Johns and other companies fleeing the state of Illinois due to the negligent spending of our elected officials! If Jimmy Johns does leave the 100 employees at the corporate office will not be able to just up and leave with him. Most people in this economy are backwards on their mortgages since the mortgage crisis, and most wouldn't even qualify for a mortgage let alone having to uproot children from school and spouses from their jobs. So you have 100 more people applying for unemployment. With all the people soon to be unemployed just takes away the anticipated taxes Quinn expects to collect which will not put a dent into their debt. I cannot believe this tax increase was passed without even looking at other ways to cut spending.
The next election should be interesting, we are running out of political parties to choose from!
Any business leaving Illinois should be upsetting to every Illinois resident. It just means more debt we will have to cover! Sad situation in Illinois. Florida sounds pretty good right about now!

PaulW wrote on January 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

In reply to "bloated state pensions", may I remind you that a state pension is exactly like the 401K or mutual fund that your employer operates off of. As a son of two state workers, you HAVE to realize that my parents have PAID IN to their pensions for their combined 60+ years working for the state. If you take their pension away, that's like taking away your 401k that you've paid in to. Is that fair?

TaraS898 wrote on January 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Regardless of his tax position, please don't make this man a martyr. It may be that this "doesn't feel good in my soul", but this is a man who has been part of Royal Public Fort Myers II that owes families thousands of dollars in a FL condo development deal and refuses to pay on an agreement that they created to close deals and that the courts have reinforced. I haven't eaten at Jimmy Johns in over two years and never will. Funny, how when one business deal goes south, you all the sudden don't have money to pay your commitments. I wonder where his soul was on this one? Watch out Florida!

Cynical Sam wrote on January 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Profile Picture

Then they surely are suing him. What's that got to do with anything?