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Lone Star state officials pursue Chicago business

Texas economic development officials have been in Chicago this week in an attempt to woo businesses to move to the Lone Star state, according to a news release.

The Texas economic development officials are making an overt bid for Chicago firms, touting lower tax rates and a greater availability of development funds. The Texas delegation includes executives from American Electric Power, BNSF Railway, Center Point Energy and Oncor and economic development leaders from 10/35 Economic Development Alliance, Brownsville Economic Development Corporation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Greater Houston Partnership, McKinney Economic Development Corporation and Schertz Economic Development Corporation.

“With no corporate or personal income tax, Texas has one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation and also competes with aggressive incentives, including the TEF, Texas Enterprise Zone, Skills Development Fund and additional incentives offered at the local level,” the group said in its press release.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry headlined a similar trip in 2013, leading to a one day verbal joust with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other Illinois leaders. Perry had urged business leaders to flee Illinois’ business climate, which he said was like “a burning building on the verge of collapse,” according to Crain’s.

Emanuel shot back: "Imagine the jobs they'd bring in (to Texas) if they had a governor who could remember all three parts of his three-part plan." The comment was a reference to Perry’s infamous misstep during a 2012 presidential debate when he forgot one of the three government departments he planned to shut down if elected.

Perry and other Texas officials have long touted Texas’ business-friendly as one of their state’s greatest assets.