SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Urging lawmakers to extend a proven program that has created jobs and investment in downtown Rockford, state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara spoke in favor of the state’s River Edge Historic Tax Credit Thursday at a hearing in Springfield.
“It’s critical that we approve a multi-year extension of this needed program in order to continue the positive momentum we have seen in downtown Rockford,” Wallace said. “This program has boosted our local economy, created jobs and attracted millions of dollars of investment in our community.”
Wallace and McNamara advocated for an extension of the River Edge Historic Tax Credit in the House Revenue and Finance Committee. The program, which provides tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic structures, is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. In Rockford, the River Edge Historic Tax Credit has been instrumental for redevelopment projects, including the mixed-use Prairie Street Brewhouse, the Burnham Lofts (Rockford Trust Building), and older buildings part of the East State Street and Midtown corridors.
”While the investments have led to a rise in property values, increased jobs, new businesses and a boost in overall economic activity, we are also seeing an increase in the feeling that the central core of our city has turned the corner,” McNamara said. “You sense it when you walk the streets downtown, when you talk to visitors, when you shop in new stores or eat in new restaurants.”
The River Edge Historic Tax Credit is currently used in Rockford, Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin and Peoria.
“Having helped developers, property owners and elected officials revitalize vacant and underutilized properties for almost 20 years, I have seen that a state historic tax credit, paired with the federal version, is an imperative tool,” said Bonnie McDonald, President and CEO of Landmarks Illinois. “It ensures we are regionally competitive and the jobs created are local; they cannot be outsourced. Plus, because preservation is more labor-intensive than material-intensive, it puts more people back to work in Illinois.”
For more information, please contact Wallace’s full-time constituent service office at 815-987-7433.
280-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 557-4502 FAX
200 S. Wyman
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 987-7225 FAX