My Favorite Sandwich Company May Be Leaving Illinois
How many more stories like this will we hear? The founder of Jimmy John’s sandwich shops has stated he plans to move his family and his company out of its Champaign, Ill., headquarters because of the state’s recent tax increases. (I ate lunch at Jimmy John’s both yesterday and today — despite the high sales tax — but I won’t tomorrow, because Thursday is $2.50 turkey sub day at Planet Sub, and I never miss that.)
It does not appear from the article that the owner is considering a relocation to Missouri. Perhaps if we did not have an income tax, he would think about hopping across the Mississippi River for his new corporate HQ. Who knows?
I didn’t like this line in the article:
Liautaud said he has been contacted by “multiple pro-business states” that made him feel “wanted and important.”
“I enjoy being courted and the process,” he said.
It is not the role of government to court select individuals. Government should set the tax rate as low as possible, let markets operate as freely as possible, and regulate as little as possible. Then economic opportunities will arise that people actually want, although those opportunities might not be what some economic development officials want. A charming, mixed-use condominium complex and upscale shopping district is not superior to a factory, a strip mall, or a nightclub if these other types of developments better satisfy people’s actual needs and wants.