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Barickman Supports Enterprise Zone Extension Legislation

SPRINGFIELD- State Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) voted in favor of legislation that will extend the life of current enterprise zones for 25 years and create five new zones throughout the state.

“I am pleased we were finally able to approve this economic development measure that will help ensure our job creators have a reliable, stable business environment within these zones,” said Barickman.  “These are proven incentives that attract employers, allow businesses to expand and grow, and help to improve the communities and areas they are located in.”

Since the creation of enterprise zones over 900,000 jobs have been created or retained within the areas.  Around $49 billion dollars has been invested by tens of thousands of businesses within the zones.

Enterprise zones are economic development tools which allow businesses located in designated regions to receive specified incentives. Businesses located within the zones can receive a number of benefits, such as tax credits for each new job created or a sales tax exemption for machinery and building supplies.  In order to maintain these incentives businesses must meet specified requirements for job creation and retention, as well as capital and infrastructure investments.

Senate Bill 3616 would extend current enterprise zones for 25 years, create 5 new zones and put in place additional accountability measures for the areas.  The legislation has passed the Illinois Senate and House, and now heads to the Governor for final approval.

“Enterprise zones are a key economic development tool for Illinois communities that have led to the creation of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment.  The IMA appreciates the leadership of Rep. Barickman who helped ensure that this pro-jobs legislation passed the General Assembly,” said Mark Denzler, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.

The Enterprise Zone Act of 1982 created 89 standard enterprise zones, with eight additional zones created by special legislation.  Because the individual enterprise zones were only given a 30 year lifespan, many are nearing their expiration date.  A few enterprise zones within the 105th District will expire over the next couple of years, including Urbana (December 2015) and Champaign/Champaign County (December 2016).  A number of enterprise zones in close proximity to the area are also facing expiration, including Streator (December 2014) and Danville/Tilton/Vermilion County (December 2014).