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Enterprise Zones in Illinois Near End


The legislation that established Enterprise Zones in Illinois was passed in the mid-1980s. Many are nearly at the end of their 30 year lifespan.

Enterprise zones abate the property taxes on improvements for up to 10 years. The zones also offer a state sales tax exemption on building materials that are purchased in the state and are used in an enterprise zone.

Monmouth City Administrator Eric Hanson says,  "Oftentimes (it's) not necessarily the property tax abatement that's important.But on a multi-million dollar project the sales tax exemption on construction materials can be substantial."

Monmouth's two enterprise zones will expire in 2015.

He says, “It's a concern. 'Concern' is an accurate word from the standpoint it is our number one economic development tool.”

He says the city's two zones generated $42 million in new development over the last five years. He also says the zones created or preserved 3,000 jobs over the same span.

Monmouth's two enterprise zones will expire in 2015.
Hanson says bills to extend the life of enterprise zones sponsored by State Senator Michael Frerichs (D-52) of Champaign have passed in the Senate each of the last two years only to stall in a House committee. Frerichs has introduced the bill again this session. It would extend the enterprise zones by 20 years.

Hanson says if the zones are extended Monmouth would add a few properties to each of its zones. He says several properties near the south zone would likely see some development once they are  in that enterprise zone.