Chicago Mayor Richard Daley “is looking to lure employers from Oregon after that state’s voters approved a huge tax increase last week,” the Wall Street Journal reports in an editorial today.

The tax hike in Oregon “will help our economic development immediately. You’d better believe it,” Hizzoner told the Chicago Sun Times late last week. “We’ll be out in Oregon enticing corporations to relocate to Chicago.”

Oregon raised its top income tax rate to 11% from 9% and its corporate rate to 7.9% from 6.6%, while doubling many small business tax charges and fees. “What happened in Oregon is not good news for Oregon,” explains Mr. Daley. “They believe that anybody who makes $125,000 or more [annually] or businesses or anyone who makes $250,000—they’re gonna start taxing them. They call them ‘rich people.'”

Mr. Daley isn’t buying that. “I’ve always thought America stands for [rewarding success]. You finish high school. You work hard, go to college and you hope to succeed in life. I never knew it’s a class war—that those who succeed in life are the ones that have to bear all the burden. I never realized that. It will be a whole change in America that those who succeed and work hard, we’re gonna tax ’em more than anyone else.”

If he’s really looking for a competitive advantage to exploit, Daley should turn his gaze to the east.  New York City residents are subject to a top state-local income tax rate of 12.62 percent, the highest in the country, which Governor Paterson’s budget would raise to 12.85 percent.  The top state-local corporate tax in New York City is over 18 percent of allocated net income.

The Illinois income tax rate currently tops out at 3 percent, and the corporate tax rate is a flat 7.3 percent.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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