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“Jimmy John” flees Illinois after tax hike

21 January 2011 RS 5 Comments

Construction site, Elgin, IL Construction site, Elgin, IL (Photo by The Elginite).

Elgin Academy alumnus “Jimmy John” Liautaud, founder of 1000-store sandwich chain Jimmy John’s, has moved his family to Florida and applied for Florida residency in the wake of the recent tax hike bill passed and signed by Illinois Democratic Party politicians this month. The bill raises personal income tax rates by 67% and brings the corporate tax rate up to nearly 10% (a figure that includes the 2.5% personal property replacement tax that corporations must pay), almost double the flat corporate tax rate of Florida.

If the Jimmy John’s corporation follows its founder out of Illinois it will be a significant blow to the Champaign economy where it is headquartered.

Jimmy John’s employs 100 at the corporate office in Champaign and has 190 other employees who work elsewhere but come to Champaign every four weeks, Liautaud said.

Some people may not realize how many travel to Champaign-Urbana as a result of Jimmy John’s being here – many of them for training.

Liautaud said his business accounts for “350 motel nights a week in Champaign, 1,400 motel nights a month.”

“They eat at Cheddars,” get automotive service at Sullivan-Parkhill and “drink at Carlos (Nieto’s) bars,” he said.

Mr. Liautaud’s departure also means the loss of a philanthropist who has given generously to Illinois nonprofits in the past. Elgin Academy’s Media, Science, and Fine Arts Center was completed in 2008 with the help of a million dollar gift from Mr. Liautaud, and the business school at the University of Illinois in Chicago is named in his family’s honor.

Jimmy John’s was formerly headquartered in Elgin before moving its offices to Champaign in 2005.

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5 Responses to ““Jimmy John” flees Illinois after tax hike”

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  1. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Thanks a lot Democrats. I really appreciated the money he contributed to Elgin Academy’s new building. I performed in It’s A Wonderful Life this past November in that building.

    I was hoping he would buy the Tower Building. It sure would be nice to see a Jimmy John’s sign glowing off the top of the Elgin Tower building for all to see in the Fox Valley.

    I believe Elgin Academy would be able to see the sign as well.


    • Craig says:

      But if the state didn’t tax us and take care of us…who would?

      Oh yeah…Jimmy John!

      (And other citizens who might’ve otherwise stuck around and felt a need to give back because their taxes weren’t so exorbitant.)

  2. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    Read what Wisconsin’s Governor is doing to make a point about Illinois business fleeing our state.



    It is a long time since I was having belly laughs all throughout a local play and that is what happened last night at the Kimball Street Theater in the Elgin Academy Building for Noises Off.

    Google - Elgin Theater Company for more info. Two more week ends of shows plus a matinee today, Jan. 23, Jan. 28,29,30 and Feb. 4,5, and 6.


  3. homersimpson says:

    me too will move away from this state as fast as i could. waiting for my son to go to college and then we pack and leave. i can pay higher tax if everybody get a good services but the money we paid all goes to support past and present government workers who already are well paid and got better benefit than any of us. what a crook system and i will not stay to support these crooks.