Ohio Tries To Lure Sears From Illinois With $400 Million In Tax Incentives

Just after the departure of a well known global company based in Ohio, the state is ratcheting up its sales pitch to a familiar retailer. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports.

For a while, it appeared that Ohio wasn’t holding out much hope to lure in Sears Holding Corporation from Illinois. Republican Gov. John Kasich sounded pessimistic in speaking to reporters on November 17 -

“I think it’s very unlikely that we get them,” says Kasich.

But Kasich also said Ohio is trying, “we’re are in there pushing and offering.”

The state has now offered 400 million dollars in incentives to Sears – about four times the offer that financially troubled Illinois has made to the retailer. And Kasich says Ohio wins whether Sears takes the offer or not.

“But it’s really good to have a CEO talk about the fact that we’ve been very, very effective in our offers. That’s why we got their attention. If we hadn’t been effective, we wouldn’t be there,” says Kasich.

Some Illinois lawmakers are questioning a major package of tax breaks that includes a 15 million dollar a year incentive for Sears. Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he isn’t worried about getting into a bidding war with Ohio.