Chicago Illinois Public Policy

Illinois Historic Tax Credit Bill Not Down or Out

by Michael R. Allen

Illinois may yet pass a state historic rehabilitation tax credit this year. On March 18, the Illinois Senate passed SB 2559, which is now heading through the House committee process in the final days of this year’s legislative session.

Apparently Governor Pat Quinn (D) is favorable to the bill. Supporters wisely have crafted a substitute that lowers the per-county cap from $25 million to $5 million, requires each project pass a “but for” test and subjects projects to a per-project issuance cap. These are provisions that make the bill — and the dream that downstate communities like East St. Louis and Alton gain a powerful tool for neighborhood development — alive. There may be one particular county that generated the per-county cap, and the per-project cap as well, but those are excellent ideas to ensure that the credit gets used where it is most needed — where development actually needs a stimulus.

Update: The Illinois House never took up the bill before adjourning in May 2010.