Sears deal talks creep forward

SPRINGFIELD — State lawmakers trying to craft a deal to keep Sears Holdings Corp. in Illinois have received a compromise package of tax incentive proposals from the retail giant.

Lawmakers and the company would not make specifics of the proposal public, but the company continues to ask for its property tax deal with Hoffman Estates to be extended as well as job-creation incentives such as those received by Navistar in Warrenville and Motorola Mobility in Libertyville.

Like Sears, those companies had said they were considering leaving Illinois if incentives weren’t approved.

Suburban lawmakers will convene next week to try to draft compromise legislation that could be voted on the following week during the final three days of the legislative session this year.

Sears officials have said they’ll make a decision whether to leave Illinois by the end of the year.

“We’re just trying to reconcile,” said Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat.

Lawmakers have to reconcile Sears’ request with the sometimes-competing views of the village of Hoffman Estates and Community Unit District 300, which says it needs the money it could get if Sears’ 20-year-old tax breaks were allowed to expire next year.

Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, said he wants to see Sears’ present tax deal extended, penalties put in place if the company leaves Hoffman Estates and more money made available to District 300.

But details still would have to be worked out. The legislative session resumes Nov. 8 for three days.

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