This is an admirable if narrow and self-serving contribution, but it pales in comparison to the package the State and local governments offered Caterpillar two years ago. The Chicago Tribune announced in February 2015 that Caterpillar would be building a new headquarters in Peoria after mulling a move elsewhere. Why? the State and local governments created a “…special zoning district that offers developers incentives such as property tax abatements and tax breaks on building equipment”. But after making the announcement, earlier this year Caterpillar decided to move its headquarters to Chicago anyway.
Oh… and then there is the issue of taxes. It seems that Caterpillar is one of many corporations that off-shores its capital to avoid taxes, something they are under investigation for now. So Caterpillar’s $300,000 sounds generous to a taxpayer in Peoria, but when examined in the context of the tax abatements offered by state and local governments and the taxes avoided by parking assets overseas it is likely a rounding error.