State Farm, the nationally-known insurance chain headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, has apparently had its fill of “The Land of Lincoln’s” confiscatory taxes. The 800 million dollar company is reported to have purchased “substantial workspace” in the Dallas, Texas area. The giant insurance firm’s workers are being kept in the dark reportedly to avoid “alarming them”; but is it their workers or the State of Illinois they would like to keep in the dark about this move? If this doesn’t signal State Farm’s coming dash out of Illinois’s clutches, what could it mean?
A knowledgeable Dallas real estate insider has called this impending move “a major business relocation” of record-breaking proportions. The numbers involved are approximately 2.5 million square feet of workspace and thousands of workers. No company in Dallas’ history has made a move this large.
Texas isn’t the only state State Farm is running to. There has also been a report that it has leased office space in Atlanta. The combined amount of both new locations roughly equals the 3.5 million square feet it has in Bloomington.
These moves should come as no surprise to anyone. In spite of (or maybe because of) raising its corporate and personal income tax rate by 67% in 2010, Illinois has seen its credit rating fall and its deficit raise. A review of the tax structure in Georgia shows the personal and corporate income tax is 4% as compared to Illinois’ 6.25%.
Add to this the fact that the gasoline tax in Illinois is 60.9 cents per gallon (while Texas collects just 38.4 cents per gallon and Georgia charges 47 cents tax on a gallon of gas), and it is easy to see why any company or individual would want to move.
The worst thing about the coming loss of jobs in Bloomington is that both the town’s state senator and Assembly representative are Republicans who did not vote for the policies that have destroyed their state and local economies.