SPRINGFIELD – A measure championed by Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Loves Park) allowing Winnebago County to impose a 2 percent tax on hotel stays was signed into law over the weekend. It is estimated that this new tax, which would be shouldered by out-of-town visitors, would generate $13 million for the project. The measure is an effort to move a proposal to make Rockford the Midwest recreational sports destination forward.

"This new law will allow the Rockford area to stay competitive with surrounding states that already have started construction on their sports facilities," Stadelman said.

The Reclaiming First proposal transitions the former Ingersoll building into a riverside indoor sports complex, while making improvements to Sportscore One and Two. The project was introduced in December 2011 and has rallied support from across Winnebago County and the surrounding area.

"The best part of our sports facilities is that they are utilized by Winnebago County residents but are paid for by out of town visitors," Stadelman said.

Currently in Rockford, hotel guests pay a 12 percent tax at checkout. But surrounding areas like Peoria and Galesburg have a 13 percent tax, and Chicago has a 16.4 percent tax. The majority, if not all, of the estimated $37.5 million needed in funding for the new project would come from non-local sources including grants, charitable contributions and state funding.

"Since 2007, Rockford's amateur sports tournaments have dropped 11 percent annually, resulting in $1.4 million loss for the region each year," continued Stadelman. "So this new revenue source for the project is coming at the right time to stop this downward trend in our economy."

Local economic development and city planners, elected officials, business owners and labor leaders collaborated on the proposal that would not only bring back Rockford's declining sports tournaments, but expand resources to make Rockford the amateur sports tournament capital of the Midwest.

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 34th District
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8022
 
District Office:
200 S. Wyman St.
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 987-7557
(815) 987-7529 FAX