Tax push chases Indy firm from Illinois

July 11, 2007
Locally based Royce Inc. has sold its Illinois consumer-finance business to World Acceptance Corp. of Greenville, S.C., to avoid the prospect of paying a gross-receipt tax.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is pushing for the tax in a heated battled with the Legislature over the 2008 budget.

Such a tax would be too great of a blow for the subsidiary, called Royce Financial Inc., a spokesman said. The company, based at 6565 Coffman Road on the northwest side, specializes in short-term, unsecured loans of about $300-often to people with unexpected bills.

The Royce Financial sale included the loan portfolio along with 14 locations, mostly in Peoria and other central Illinois cities. Royce Financial has 32 workers. The spokesman said the sale fetched less than $10 million.

Royce will continue operating its Royce Motors Inc. car lots, two of which are in Indianapolis and one in Terre Haute.

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