Caterpillar HQ study prompts fear of possible move

    Caterpillar Inc.’s announcement Monday that it will launch a study to explore options for updating its Peoria headquarters has been interpreted by some, including Peoria’s mayor, that it’s open to financial offers to move.

    A spokesman for the maker of heavy earthmoving equipment dismissed that idea. But experts said it is just a matter of time before Caterpillar gets offers to relocate in the form of incentives from cities around the country and perhaps even globally. Some of that feeling comes from the fact Caterpillar’s chief executive has been critical of the business and political climate in Illinois.

    Caterpillar CEO Douglas Oberhelman has criticized the state’s income tax increase on businesses, pushed for reform of workers’ compensation and written to Gov. Pat Quinn saying that state legislators were making it harder for Caterpillar to remain in the state.

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