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ADM headquarters coming to Chicago without city, state incentives

The Archer Daniels MidlCo. plant Decatur Ill.  |  Seth Perlman/AP file photo

The Archer Daniels Midland Co. plant in Decatur, Ill. | Seth Perlman/AP file photo

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Updated: January 19, 2014 12:06PM



SPRINGFIELD — Archer Daniels Midland is expected to announce Wednesday that it will move its new global headquarters to Chicago without seeking state or city tax incentives, sources with knowledge of the move confirmed Tuesday.

While the company’s decision is expected to bring fewer jobs than once anticipated and its economic impact is unknown, the planned announcement represents a decisive win for Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The governor and mayor will keep a prestigious corporate citizen in Chicago with no outlay of public dollars, giving Quinn’s administration and the city a valuable PR chit in trying to draw other corporate headquarters here.

For Quinn, the news also can be spun as an economic-development victory heading into the 2014 elections, after he had been needled earlier by Republican gubernatorial rival Bruce Rauner for “playing games” on the ADM deal.

The ADM move is expected to bring 60 to 75 executives and support staff to downtown Chicago but not the hundreds of jobs first envisioned. A technology center proposed for the city is reportedly not part of the move.

No state or city tax incentives are part of the deal, sources confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times late Tuesday.

The company had approached Quinn’s administration and the General Assembly about obtaining $24 million in state tax incentives over 20 years in exchange for moving its global headquarters and the technology center to Chicago — a maneuver that would have meant 200 jobs moving to the city.

But in the fall, the governor said he wouldn’t entertain the request when pension reform still had not passed the General Assembly.

Earlier this month, after lawmakers sent a pension bill to Quinn’s desk, a tax break plan for ADM eked its way out of the Illinois Senate but stalled in the House, where House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, killed the tax-break measure along with others sought by other companies looking to relocate or expand here.

Quinn’s administration did not respond to a call Tuesday from the Sun-Times about the announcement. Likewise, ADM did not respond to a message left at its Decatur offices.

A Madigan aide withheld comment. “I don’t know what ADM is saying so I don’t really have any comment,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.

Last Thursday, the speaker slammed the door on a tax deal for ADM and others.

“I find it very difficult to support tax giveaways for corporate CEOs and millionaire shareholders whose companies pay little in state taxes,” Madigan said then.

“I question our priorities when corporate handouts are demanded by companies that don’t pay their fair share while middle-class families and taxpayers face an increasing number of burdens,” he said.



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