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

By: Benjamin Yount | Posted: December 28, 2013 3:55 AM
Office Depot HQ, Boca Raton

Office Depot's Boca Raton HQ

Office Depot chose Florida for its new corporate global headquarters because of the Sunshine State’s climate — for business.

Sunny skies and warm temperatures don’t 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.

Comments (14)

2:27PM JAN 3RD 2014
There are many reasons that can be pointed out for Office Depot to stay in FL, all of which are very obvious.

I'm just happy that they continue to show that FL is a business friendly state that welcomes companies of all sizes.

I would like to see more companies move into our state and bring more business in. Give them the tax breaks and let them bring in the jobs.
12:39PM JAN 9TH 2014
Yes, rightwing Republicans love to hand out that all that public money to support for-profit businesses . . . . after all, they've created the tax structure to ensure it isn't THEIR money, but comes from all those other citizen "losers" out there . . . or as Romney would put it, the other 47% out there . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
3:37PM DEC 28TH 2013
Wonder how much we're giving them this time . . . after all, we just gave them millions around 2006 to stay in Palm Beach County and then twice allowed a cut down in the number of jobs they had to create for that money . . . . not as bad as the state/local money for Scripps (i.e. more than $1 million/job), but still . . . . .
7:11PM DEC 28TH 2013
Witchdoctor say Frank the Racist should look into incentives given away by Republican Charlie Crist for glimpse into future. Frank proud to support Crist for giving away more money with no results.

Bones don't lie.
(But Frank the Racist does).
11:18AM DEC 31ST 2013
Clearly, you've proven yourself to be a one-trick pony . . . who only knows how to state the opposite of truth . . . . a modern day "contrary" . . . . . . too bad you're such a lost soul . . . inept and just plain . . .

Pathetic . . . .
11:09AM DEC 28TH 2013
A short lived victory for Florida indeed. Washington state may be the ultimate winner here as Amazon is eating Office Depot's lunch (when it comes to the consumer that is).
10:15AM DEC 28TH 2013
florida's tax rates and related costs have been among the lowest in the country for many yrs. you can thank both republicans and democrats for that philosophy. the only thing amazing about scott is his ability to spin anything positive and ignore everything negative.
10:00AM DEC 28TH 2013
Chalk up another win for Rick Scott and Florida. This guy is amazing and I would say that he is the best governor that Florida has ever had, JEB is a distant second. It seems the only people that don't like Scott are the parasites and the lame stream media, and when they are replaced with productive people it will be a perfect world. The Free Market is a wonderful thing.
3:56PM DEC 28TH 2013
If you think Scott had a lot to do with this think again. Gray Swoope and local government are the ones who gave them millions. You can believe it or not but Florida has always had lower property tax and business friendly corporate taxes. It wasn't until we decided to give tax payer money to private corporations that businesses started to look closely at Florida.
3:25PM DEC 28TH 2013
You're in a minority of two - - and maybe even one, for I doubt even Rick Scott is vain enough to think himself the best governor Florida has ever had . . . . . . nor would he believe that anyone that doesn't like him are "parasites" . . . . . that's just more right wing tear-down, demonization, hateful politics of the "Big Lie" . . . . which you do quite a lot of . . . . sorry about that lump of coal you received . . . even if well deserved . . . . as to that "perfect world" when all think strangely like you . . . . pure fantasy and once again, being just . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
7:11PM DEC 28TH 2013
Witchdoctor say Frank the Racist should look into incentives given away by Republican Charlie Crist for glimpse into future. Frank proud to support Crist for giving away more money with no results.

Bones don't lie.
(But Frank the Racist does).
11:24AM DEC 31ST 2013
Don't even know how to not repeat yourself in the same set of comments . . . not even enough to make all your bigoted skinhead friends (all two of them) proud . . . .

Pathetic . . .
6:14PM DEC 31ST 2013
Witchdoctor wish Frank the Racist a happy new year, and that he will have to support Crist all next year.

Bones don't lie.
12:05PM JAN 1ST 2014
Yes, everyone's the racist except the one using the racist demonizing pseudonym and attempts to speak as if English is a second language and stereotypes Africans . . . . think you're gaining admirers with this childishness . . . . the joke's clearly on you . . . . you're being laughed at, not with . . . . . keep it up . . . show all those swing voters just how vile Rick Scott's rightwing supporters can truly be . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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