aterpillar is not leaving Illinois, according to Gov. Pat Quinn.
The Peoria-based company’s CEO, Doug Oberhelman, sent a letter to the governor last week, questioning the state’s commitment to business after the recent tax hike. In the letter, Oberhelman said at least four states are trying to woo Caterpillar away from Illinois – including Texas, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
According to the Daily Herald, here’s what Oberhelman wrote:
“I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what’s right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest … The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business, and I’d like to work with you to change that.”
A spokesman for Caterpillar said the letter wasn’t meant to be publicized.
If Caterpillar were to leave, it would be a big economic blow to the state. The company employs 23,000 workers here.
Quinn argued Illinois is a great state for corporations, and said he’s confident Caterpillar will stay.
“I think Caterpillar, when it looks at all the ingredients Illinois has to offer, the middle of the country, workers who get the job done — who is making these great machines? … it’s Illinois workers who know how to get the job done.”
The governor did not say if he would try to make any changes to ensure that the company does stay, but said he’s already scheduled to meet with Oberhelman in the coming days, and will listen to what he has to say.