New law expands historic preservation tax credit program (with video)
PEORIA — Bipartisan legislation sponsored by State Sen. Chuck Weaver to improve and expand the River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ) Historic Tax Credit was signed into law July 26 by Gov. Bruce Rauner, making the successful economic development incentive available to communities statewide.
Senate Bill 3527 allows for a 25 percent state income tax credit for qualifying rehabilitation projects of historic structures throughout Illinois.
“This legislation opens up millions of dollars in economic incentives in the form of tax credits for historic preservation projects throughout Illinois,” Rauner said after signing the bill at the Peoria Riverfront Museum Plaza. “It is imperative that we add jobs and fuel economic development. This bill will help Illinois achieve those goals while also preserving our past and making our state even more beautiful to visit.”
“Investing in our state’s historic structures is critical to not only preserve and promote our local history, but also generate economic and community development in our region through construction jobs, permanent employment opportunities and state income tax revenue,” said Weaver. “Peoria has been at the forefront of this effort. I applaud the Governor for his continued support of this important tool, which will encourage the revitalization of vacant or blighted historic and riverfront property in other communities across Illinois.”
Established in 2012, the RERZ originally was a five-year pilot program allowing a 25 percent state income tax credit for qualifying projects in blighted, historic riverfront areas in Peoria, Rockford, Elgin, East St. Louis and Aurora.
The new law expands availability of the historic tax credits to similar projects across the state. It also adds a new Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit with $15 million in credits to be administered by the Historic Preservation Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources each year between January 2019 and December 2023.
Since the RERZ Historic Tax Credit took effect in 2009, it has resulted in $82.1 million in private investment in Illinois' river cities, according to Landmarks Illinois.
A portion of the July 26 ceremony in Peoria can be viewed below.