BETHALTO, Ill. (KMOX) – A candidate running for state senate in the Metro-East is expressing dismay over Sears announcing it’ll close its Alton Square store and five others in Illinois.

Republican Mike Babcock of Bethalto says 40 to 80 jobs will be lost, locally.

Babcock says the state gave Sears a $150 million tax break, a short time ago, to keep the company from moving its headquarters out of Illinois.

He suggests the 67% percent income tax hike the legislature passed last year led to lawmakers being put in that position, “Bring the tax level down to an area where corporations are not leaving our state. Why would we want to pick losers and winners?”

Babcock has no opposition in the March primary.

He’ll face incumbent senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) in November.

(KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )



  1. stlmom4 says:

    The tax hike was a minimal player. Sears is struggling on many fronts and cutting deep in many areas.

    The succession of high level corruption that left Illinois unable to pay its bills single-handedly closed many good companies, large and small. They gave the Illinois government goods and services in good faith that they’d be paid and they were betrayed, causing a ripple effect of bankruptcies and job losses and increased unemployment payments.

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