State Votes to Extend Aurora, Elgin Riverfront Re-Development Stimulus
State funding that helped make River Edge Park in Aurora and the Tower Building Project in Elgin a reality has been extended by the state of Illinois — a bipartisan decision that didn’t get a lot of fanfare but could mean millions of dollars of redevelopment stimulus for Kane County’s two largest cities.
Gov. Bruce Rauner this week (Tuesday Dec. 20, 2016) signed Senate Bill 1488, legislation to extend the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program. In essence, the program allows for an income tax credit to be awarded for the restoration and preservation of a qualified historic structure located in a River Edge Redevelopment Zone, which includes Aurora and Elgin.
“The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program is an important tool for municipalities to spur economic development while saving and restoring historic buildings,” Rauner said. “We’re pleased that the legislature moved to extend this program, but hope that we can provide even more support to local municipalities through a balanced budget with reforms to grow jobs, lower property taxes, improve schools and enact term limits.”
Senate Bill 1488 is effective immediately and extends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program for one year, to sunset on Jan. 1, 2018. The zones are located in Aurora, Elgin, Rockford, Peoria and East St. Louis. The program is administered at the state level by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Kane County legislators from both parties praised the bill.
State Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora): “The Rivers Edge program has already helped preserve a local landmark in Aurora,” she said. “This program spurs economic development, repurposes historic structures, and creates jobs in the community.”
State Rep. Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora): “Extending the River Edge Tax Credit is essential to promoting development and economic growth in areas of the state that need it the most,” she said. “I’ve been proud to work with my fellow legislators in Springfield to help spark economic development. I applaud Gov. Rauner for his support of this economic tool and look forward to working with him to ensure programs like River Edge thrive for years to come.”
State Sen. Mike Noland (D-Elgin): “I thank the governor for reaching across the aisle on important job creation issues like the Rivers Edge program.”
State Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin): “The River Edge Historic Tax Credit is a critical component to revitalizing Elgin’s riverfront and downtown economy, and it has proven to be a good return on investment,” she said. “Maintaining this tax credit is important for Elgin to continue creating jobs and growing our local economy, and I’m glad Gov. Rauner signed this measure to extend it into law.”
State Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles): The extension will “allow for more private investment, create construction positions and ultimately secure permanent jobs.”
State Rep. Steve Anderson (R-Geneva): “River’s Edge historic tax credits are vital to the rebuilding of our historic Illinois towns,” he said. “These tax credits are good for the whole state, encouraging investment, creating jobs in our communities that can’t be outsourced, building sales tax revenues and reinvigorating our downtowns all at the same time. The River’s Edge historic tax credit is a win-win for everyone in our state.”
SOURCE: State of Illinois news release