Senate president meets with leaders of Sears

SPRINGFIELD — Sears Holdings Corp. CEO Lou D'Ambrosio met with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton Tuesday about the company's future in its Hoffman Estates headquarters.

Sears' tax-incentive deal with Hoffman Estates expires next year, and company officials have said they're “considering options” that could include relocating.

“As such, we have begun to have conversations with elected officials in Illinois and elsewhere,” Chris Braithwaite, spokesman for Sears, said in a statement.

During the meeting, Cullerton agreed to try to bring to a vote legislation that would, among other things, extend Sears' deal with Hoffman Estates, said spokesman John Patterson.

The company has already met with some Illinois lawmakers, and other meetings could follow.

“As we stated earlier this year, we have made a commitment to our associates and shareholders to be thorough in our discussions and deliberations concerning our headquarters location,” Braithwaite said.

State Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, said legislation that could address Sears' tax concerns could be debated when lawmakers return to Springfield in late October and November.

“I hope this veto session, we can get close to closing a deal,” Crespo said.

Not all lawmakers support extending Sears' current incentive package, though. Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin, for example, would like to explore other incentive options for the company so that Sears would start paying property taxes to Carpentersville-based Community Unit District 300, in particular.

John Cullerton