RockfordhearingRockford - State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) hosted the Illinois Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee to hear testimony about Senate Bill 1642, an extension of the River Edge Historic Tax Credit. The credit has been an important economic tool for the revitalization for downtown Rockford, and is equal to 25 percent of the rehabilitation costs for a business in a historic building.  Currently, the tax credit will expire on Jan. 1, 2017. Stadelman’s proposal would extend the deadline an additional 5 years, until Jan. 1, 2022.

In the Rockford area, rehabilitation projects like the Watch Factory and Ziock Building may be in jeopardy if the credit is not extended. Previously, a $12 million renovation on the Prairie Street Brewhouse created 110 construction jobs, and the business now contributes $341,419 annually in income tax revenue thanks to the River Edge Historic Tax Credit. Projects in other communities such as Aurora, Elgin, Peoria and East St. Louis may also be in jeopardy.

Numerous developers from the Rockford area, as well as representatives from the cities of Rockford, Elgin and Aurora all testified on the positive impact the tax credit has had on their communities.

Local developer, Gary Anderson, spoke about the importance of the credit to the Rockford area.

“It is critical to our economic revitalization. We’re seeing developers interested in areas where it never would have happened before. We need to have some of these tools in our toolbox to make this happen,” said Anderson.

The Senate will continue to debate Senate Bill 1642 and the rest of the state budget over the upcoming weeks.