patsteveSPRINGFIELD -- The vacant Singer Mental Health Center on Rockford's northwest side could be put to new use and back on the tax rolls as a result of legislation introduced by Illinois Senator Steve Stadelman and approved recently.

Under the State Surplus Property Revitalization Tax Credit Act, closed state buildings could be transferred to units of local government for as little as $1, with tax credits available to investors who redevelop the properties.

To qualify, the state facilities must have closed within the past two years and employed at least 100 workers. Singer shut its doors in October 2012 as Illinois began a shift from state-run mental health facilities to community-based care.

"The legislation gives communities the ability to control their own destinies and relieves the state of the fiscal burden of maintaining shuttered buildings," said Stadelman, chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 341. "The incentives could spur new uses for the vacant facilities, create jobs, generate tax revenue and eliminate what in some cases have unfortunately become eyesores."

An article in the Rockford Register Star in August called attention to how rapidly overgrown the Singer campus at 4402 N. Main St. had become.

To obtain the tax credit, investors would be required to submit rehabilitation plans and expenditures to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for approval. Eligible projects would receive a tax credit of up to 30 percent of rehabilitation costs over $5,000, with projects that exceed $250,000 requiring an outside cost audit.

"If this legislation can give new life to once-productive places like Singer, that helps compensate for the loss of jobs, property deterioration and other hardships experienced in communities where the state has closed facilities," Stadelman said.

Category: Press Releases

stadelman0301SPRINGFIELD – County officials are now required to clearly identify pay raises for public employees as part of their annual budgets, with the signing today by Go. Pat Quinn of a bill sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman and State Rep. John Cabello.

"This move toward more transparency in local government is the result of a bipartisan effort with Representative Cabello," said Stadelman, a Democrat whose Senate district includes the House district represented by Cabello, a Republican. "I was glad that our colleagues on both sides of the aisle agreed with the merits of this legislation."

The new law requires officials in all Illinois counties to include in their annual budgets a detailed statement showing any bonuses or increases in any salary, wage, stipend or other form of compensation for every agency, department or other entity receiving an appropriation from the county.

"I believe this legislation will lead to greater transparency when county salaries and pay increases are allocated," Stadelman said. "This is an effort to keep the taxpayers aware of how their tax dollars are being spent."

Category: Press Releases

stadelman-75x75SPRINGFIELD – Victims of securities fraud in Illinois now have a much more realistic time frame for pursuing legal recourse under a bill sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman and signed earlier this month by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The bill amends the Illinois Securities Act of 1953 so that investors have three years from the time they learned or should have learned they were defrauded to seek relief. Under the 1953 regulations, fraud victims only were eligible to attempt to recover their investments within five years of the time they purchased the securities.

"It is entirely possible for people of modest means to lose their life savings and have no knowledge they were being preyed upon until many years later," said Stadelman, D-34, the bill's sponsor in the Illinois Senate.

"The old regulations add insult to injury by providing no avenue to recover losses if the fraud went undetected for more than five years. Fair is fair," Stadelman said. "Not only do these revisions give victims a fighting chance to reclaim their hard-earned savings, they reduce the ability for perpetrators of long-term financial schemes to avoid civil liability."

High-profile cases such as the federal prosecution of Bernie Madoff demonstrate how even the largest investment scams can go undetected over long periods of time. In Illinois, the Secretary of State Securities Department receives hundreds of complaints each year from investors, many of whom are senior citizens who have been with the broker or investment adviser for years.

Category: Press Releases

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.

Category: Press Releases

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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
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