Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)By Michael Calhoun

CHICAGO (KMOX/IRN) – Archer Daniels Midland Co. is asking for a tax break of $20 million to consider moving its headquarters from Decatur to Chicago.

Company officials went before the Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee Tuesday in Chicago to explain their request. The company often doesn’t pay enough in state income tax to benefit fully from the EDGE tax credit, which is based on jobs added or retained, so it’s asking lawmakers to allow the tax credit against the income taxes it withholds on behalf of its employees.

It’s a company with profits in the billions, but chief financial officer Ray Young said they don’t let small opportunities slip by.

“When we think about relocation of our global headquarters and we think about locating a second technology center, we have to be mindful of our nickels and dimes, and that’s the reason why we’re talking to the state regarding looking at the EDGE program, in order to continue to participate in the growth within the state,” he testified.

The reception was less than enthusiastic.

“I’m a little troubled at the idea that we’re going to spend state tax money to help you leave Decatur, which as I recall is still in the state of Illinois, in order to come to Chicago, also in the state of Illinois,” remarked State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie.

Rep. David McSweeney told ADM executives that he’d rather just lower taxes than “pick winners and losers.”

ADM will move its headquarters out of Decatur, and Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis are the reported finalists. The company says 100 jobs would be moved out of Decatur, and 100 new jobs would be created at the new headquarters location. The EDGE tax credit, if it is granted the way ADM is requesting it, would be for $1.2 million a year for 15 to 20 years.

The company is dropping its request for a utility tax credit.

In Missouri, Department of Economic Development spokeswoman Amy Suson wouldn’t acknowledge conversations with the company.

“Typically we just don’t provide any comment on pending projects,” she told KMOX News, while noting that ADM’s industry does mesh with Missouri’s status as an agri-business center.

“We’re looking forward to any company, such as the one that you mentioned, making Missouri their home,” she said. “There’s definitely a reason for big companies like that to look at Missouri.”

Jim Anderson of the Illinois Radio Network bureau in Chicago contributed to this report.

KMOX © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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