Quinn clings to big-business handouts in final weeks

Gov. Pat Quinn may not have much time left in office, but he’s making the most of it.

In a banner October leading up to the November gubernatorial election, Quinn signed off on more than $37 million in government handouts to big business.

He just followed that up by giving a private company $17.5 million in tax credits not to leave the state.

Quinn’s latest handout went to Medline Industries, a Mundelein-based health-care supplies manufacturer and distributor.

But Medline isn’t just getting help from the state – the company may also benefit from a rebate of up to $1.8 million in property taxes over 15 years from the village of Mundelein, according to the Daily Herald. The Mundelein Review reported that village officials signed off on a deal earlier this year that allowed Medline to get out of $700,000 worth of sales taxes.

Medline has been an Illinois company for more than 100 years, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, but threats of moving led to state handouts.

This isn’t the company’s first foray into Illinois’ culture of cronyism.

The company received its first Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, tax-credit deal back in 2000 under former Gov. George H. Ryan. Medline's sales in 2000 were projected to exceed $1 billion for the first time in the company's history, according to the state’s press release.

Medline’s latest deal is just one example of Illinois’ bankrupt business environment, in which politicians use taxpayer money to prop up politically favored companies on the backs of small businesses and individual residents, who don’t get a break from the state’s high tax burden.

The people of Illinois spoke last month – they’re sick of the toxic political favoritism and crony deals. Voters can only hope the next governor won’t pick up where Pat Quinn leaves off.

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