“All they do is stick it to us.”
That’s what Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop chain, had to say about the state of Illinois and the new tax increase. He’s applied for Florida residency and is considering moving the headquarters of his business there.
Jimmy John Liautaud told The News-Gazette on Tuesday that he is angry about the moves, which boosted the individual income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and the corporate income tax from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent.
“All they do is stick it to us,” he said, adding that the Legislature and governor showed “a clear lack of understanding.”
“I could absorb this and adapt, but it doesn’t feel good in my soul to make it happen,” Liautaud said.
Jimmy John’s, which has its corporate headquarters on Fox Drive in Champaign, has more than 1,000 sandwich shops nationwide, many of them franchise operations.
Champaign has been its corporate base, but Liautaud said it will not necessarily continue that way.
Liautaud said he has been contacted by “multiple pro-business states” that made him feel “wanted and important.”
“I enjoy being courted and the process,” he said.
Once he collects information on alternative sites, he will present it to the company’s board of directors and ask the board to decide.
As for himself, “my family and I are out of here,” he said.
He’s already rented a home in Florida and his children are going to school there. His corporate HQ in Illinois employs 100 people. Hundreds of other employees visit the home office frequently, generating more economic activity as they eat out and stay in hotel rooms. Now they can enjoy trips to sunny Florida where taxes are low.