Cities, counties take back corporate tax breaks

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Associated Press

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 6:01 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — As the economy sputters along, municipalities struggling to fix roads and fund schools increasingly are rescinding tax abatements to companies that don't hire enough workers, that lay them off or that close up shop.

They're also sharpening new incentive deals, leaving no doubt what is expected of companies and what will happen if they don't deliver.

Brendon Gallagher, an alderman in the northern Illinois city of DeKalb, said recently that his city tries to "roll out the red carpet" for companies — but they must honor the contract.

Target Corp. got tax abatements from DeKalb, the county and others after promising at least 500 jobs at a distribution center. But when it came up 66 workers short in 2009, Target found out its next tax bill will jump almost $600,000.

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