Motorola gets $100M in tax credits to stay in Ill.

May 7, 2011 7:06:53 AM PDT
At least one Illinois company is staying put -- Motorola Mobility will receive $100 million in tax credits to remain in the state.

The Motorola Mobility workers, who all sported red t-shirts emblazoned with their home state's name, were thrilled to see Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday. He visited the company's headquarters to sign a bill that gives $100 million in tax credits to Motorola; additionally, this ensured that the company would keep its world headquarters in the far northwest suburb of Libertyville.

"We are the home of Motorola, the beginning of Motorola and we're going to continue in the 21st Century to grow with Motorola," Quinn said on Friday.

"We're confident that this is the right decision for Illinois' economy and Motorola Mobility," said Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha.

In return for 10 years of lower taxes, Motorola promised to keep 3,000 high-paying, mostly design-related and management jobs in Libertyville, and to invest more than a half billion dollars in research and development here in the next three years.

When the company's CEO and president Dr. Jha, who considered moving the headquarters to a few other states, was asked how much the tax break affected the decision to remain in Illinois, he replied: "I think this incentive package was an important factor, but so was the partnership that we've built with the governor and the governor's office."

The governor said he was not concerned that the expanded tax credit program would cause more large employers to seek tax breaks by threatening to leave the state.

When asked if companies considering Illinois should disregard the posted corporate tax rate to negotiate something lower, he replied: "I work with everybody, large and small, and my bottom line is more jobs for our state, for our workers, for our people," Quinn said.

In addition to the $100 million dollars in tax breaks over the next 10 years, the state also will give the company access to government job training and capital funds.

Motorola, for its part, has agreed to open a design center in downtown Chicago. ABC7 was told the jobs involved in this deal are some of the best you'll find anywhere. Many pay in excess of $100,000 a year.

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