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How Florida Won Office Depot -- and Why Illinois Lost It

December 27, 2013 - 6:00pm

Office Depot chose Florida for its new corporate global headquarters because of the Sunshine States climate for business.

Sunny skies and warm temperatures dont hurt, either. Sorry Illinois.

We need to create a better business environment, Illinois state Rep. David McSweeney told after learning the company was leaving the state. We need to cut tax rates across the board.

Office Depot and Office Max merged, creating two corporate headquarters, in Boca Raton and Naperville, Ill. One had to go.

Company executives asked Illinois and Florida for a sales pitch to land hundreds of jobs and a sprawling headquarters campus.

Illinois offered a slate of tax incentives, which McSweeney never liked.

Government should not be picking winners and losers, he said.

Florida was the better choice, a company statement said.

The decision is the result of a thorough evaluation that took into account a number of important factors, including the cost to operate each headquarters' location, lease obligations and sublease considerations, tax implications, government incentives, ability to add associates and incorporate functions in the current space, and people-related costs, a statement from Office Depot read.

The message is: (Illinois) needs to cut tax rates across the board, defeat the graduated income tax, and create a better business environment across the state, McSweeney said.

Contact Benjamin Yount at and find him on Twitter @BenYount.

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