Legislative hearings on proposed enterprise zone extensions continued this week, when lawmakers on the bipartisan Special Senate Committee on Enterprise Zone Extensions met on April 4 in Rockford and April 5 in downtown Chicago.

Business representatives and employers were present at both hearings to testify in favor of the enterprise zones, which offer a number of incentives intended to attract and retain businesses. Incentives range from property tax abatements to utility and sales tax breaks and other tax credits. 

“Enterprise zones are one of the few successful tools local communities have at their disposal to keep jobs and businesses here in Illinois,” Sen. Althoff said. “Building on their success, and modernizing them for the 21st century is crucial in order to make Illinois more competitive in the global marketplace.”

“For a state that’s not always seen as a good place to do business, this is one thing that Illinois is doing very well for businesses,” Mark Denzler, vice president and chief operating officer of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, was reported as saying by the Rockford Register Star.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey noted that enterprise zones are particularly helpful in the Rockford area, which often competes with Wisconsin communities to attract business development.

Illinois has almost 100 enterprise zones that were established in 1982 to create jobs and spur economic growth. Several enterprise zones are scheduled to expire in the coming year unless lawmakers extend the program. In anticipation of that extension, legislators on the committee are seeking input from the business community and local leaders to help evaluate and hopefully improve the incentive program.

Since being established, the zones have contributed to the creation of more than 900,000 jobs and led to nearly $50 billion in associated revenue. Bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 3688, has been introduced to extend the length of the zones by 25 years, create up to 10 new zones over the next 10 years, and implement transparency and accountability for these zones.

" />
Skip to Main Content

News Detail