Illinois lawmakers are talking about spending cuts. But they’re also advancing a tax break for one industry. Video games are a huge business. So much that 20 different institutions in Illinois offer classes that teach how to design them. But few jobs are available in this state. Senator Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat from Olympia Fields, is pushing a tax credit for video game companies that set up shop in Illinois….
HUTCHINSON “It is an attempt to our graduates that we really prefer that you stay in Illinois and didn’t go to New York, or California, or Washington and Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey, that all have these tax credits.”
Actually, about 15 states have them. Hutchinson points out Electronic Arts, one of the biggest game makers, left the Chicago area in 2008. She says her plan won’t cost taxpayers, as the credit only would apply once the number of employees goes above a certain level. But not everyone agrees with it. Some Republicans say the state should consider breaks for small businesses, including a roll back of the state’s income tax.