After Illinois Tax Increase, State Farm Reportedly Moving Operations to Texas

February 15, 2013

Dallas Morning News reporter Steve Brown has been following recent Texas office space leases by Bloomington, Illinois-based insurance company State Farm. The leases total over 2.5 million square feet, enough for thousands of employees. So far, Brown reports, the insurance company has just 140 positions listed for the state, strongly suggesting that a big move from elsewhere is in the works. The insurance company has remained quiet about its plans, although the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports new State Farm leases as well.

Brown's article from today:

Real estate agents who are working with State Farm employees moving to Dallas and property brokers who closely watch the deal say that hundreds of the insurance company’s workers from out of state will be shifted to the new Richardson and Irving operations this year.

The new North Texas facilities will become a super regional office for State Farm, which has almost 70,000 workers in total.

Last fall the Bloomington, Ill.-based insurance giant told the home town paper that the company was consolidating some operations. The firm said it was making the moves to “become more efficient and streamline operations.”

That’s corporate speak for shutting some offices and combining them with others.

Two years ago, Illinois sharply increased taxes: its income tax rose two-thirds from 3 percent to 5 percent, while the corporate income tax rose from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent. Legislators responded to a subsequent flight of employers with targeted tax incentives for big-name employers, running up bills and not paying them, and continued erosion of the state's long-term financial picture. Economic performance has also been poor, despite maintaining high state spending. Illinois is certainly the state closest to insolvency, which suggests that more tax increases may be in the future.

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