Harris points out state's positives amid sea of gloom
Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Height) took his point of personal privilege two days in a row to argue what is good about Illinois.
“I will continue what I started last week, which is to say something good about the state of Illinois,” Davis said during a recent debate on the House floor.
Harris began recalling his attendance at the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner two weeks ago.
“It was reported that last year 80 new businesses located in Arlington Heights and that would be small businesses – the heart blood of the American economy,” Harris said.
Collectively the new commerce brought 350 jobs into the area, he added.
“Lest you think that Arlington Heights is an island in this sea of gloom we call Illinois, let me read from an economic report from another area of the state,” Harris said before he cited a DeKalb County Economic Development Council 2017 report.
"This year was highly productive for investment and job creation in DeKalb County," Harris read. "Capital expenditures exceeded $135 million and more than 433,000 of square feet of industrial area was developed. This development resulted in the creation of 800 new jobs for the second year in the row – the highest levels in decades. These recent employment gains have driven the annual average unemployment rate down to the lowest level since 2007.
“So look, I am not minimizing the challenges we face in Illinois, but I guess the conditions around the state are not quite as bad as some would have us believe,” Harris said.
The next day, Harris continued where he left off.
“Continuing ladies and gentlemen, I am going to use my point of personal privilege to say something good about Illinois,” Harris said.
Harris continued noting his recent research on Amazon and the 20 cities vying to become the site of its new headquarters. He said among the many cities including Austin, Dallas and Miami, the billion dollar company is also looking at locating in Chicago. He said in comparison to some of the states, which do not have an income tax, Illinois’ 4.95 percent income tax could seem high.
But the good news is, it is not.
“Let’s look at some of the other cities on the list,” Harris said. “Atlanta is 6.5 percent; Boston 5.1; Columbus, Ohio 6.4; Los Angeles 12.3; Montgomery County, Maryland, 8.95; Northern Virginia 8.75; Philadelphia 6.9; Pittsburgh 6; Toronto 13.1; Washington D.C. 8.95; Illinois 4.95. Gosh it doesn’t look too bad compared to our competitors, does it?”