20-year Extension Bill Advances out of Senate

Senate Bill 3659 has been passed by the Illinois Senate and has now moved to the House for consideration.  This bill is an agreed bill with bi-partisan support and provides for Illinois Enterprise Zones to have the ability to extend their termination dates by an additional 20 years.  The bill has also been given the firm promise in the Senate that no Prevailing Wage mandate will be attached.  The Officers and Board of IEZA have worked with both sides of the aisle in Springfield and others to bring this measure that preserves the viability of the Enterprise Zone Program for an additional 20 years.

Just below is the IEZA position paper.  A pdf of this document is at the bottom of this article.



The Illinois Enterprise Zone Association (IEZA) supports passage of Senate Bill-3659 which seeks to extend the term of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program for an additional twenty (20) years. The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program is a proven economic development partnership between the State of Illinois and local units of government and has a documented history of making the difference for projects seeking to locate in Illinois. The incentives allowed under the Enterprise Zone Program have enabled both existing companies and new ventures alike to make decisions regarding job creation, job retention and capital investment resulting in a stronger Illinois economy.

SB-3659 would extend the Zone Program for twenty (20) years similar to what was done by the 91st General Assembly and signed by the Governor in 2000. As one of the bill’s leading proponents the IEZA Membership represents more than three-fourths (3/4ths) of the zone professionals in the State of Illinois including the overwhelming majority of the ninety-seven (97) zones themselves. The IEZA and its leadership believe the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program to be of particular importance in today’s highly competitive world of economic development. Recent negative impacts to Illinois resulting from a national and global economic crisis make it even more important to preserve and extend this program.

SB-3659 as amended by Amendment #2 is supported by IEZA. This bi-partisan bill Sponsored by Senator Michael Frerichs (D) of Champaign and Chief Co-Sponsor Senator Gary Dahl (R) of Peru is a good example of both sides of the aisle demonstrating support for economic development in Illinois. IEZA appreciates their cooperation and urges the rest of the General Assembly to support the bill. IEZA also values the efforts of other sister organizations from across the State of Illinois including the Illinois Municipal League, Illinois Chamber, Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, Illinois Development Council and others who have worked to bring this extension legislation to the 96th General Assembly.

SB-3659 preserves one of the few available Illinois’ incentive programs. Further, it does so using mechanisms that primarily result in a self-funding methodology that utilizes local property tax abatement with formulas voluntarily created and agreed to by local taxing districts; building material sales tax exemptions initiated jointly by the State of Illinois and the local jurisdictions; and various other investment and income tax credits to incent projects through business income tax credit allowances. All of these incentives are governed under a “but for” imperative in the Enterprise Program which only grants incentives if a project is undertaken by an existing company for new investment in Illinois or for a new company coming to an Illinois enterprise zone. It is a quid pro quo that results in no incentive if there is no investment made or jobs created.

The past ten (10) years’ DCEO annual reports to the General Assembly on Enterprise Zone job retention, creation and investment total as follows:

Jobs Retained: 188,031
Jobs Created: 159,235
Total Investment: $ 29.423 billion

This successful record of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program speaks for itself. The past ten years of documented investments in buildings and capital equipment totaling nearly $30 billion have assured that nearly 350,000 Illinois citizens received or kept their jobs here in Illinois. These were only the direct jobs reported and do not include all of the untold spin off created by enterprise zone projects across the state. The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program enabled those investments and helped to retain and create those jobs. By extending this valuable program SB-3659 will strengthen Illinois, create investment, and retain and create jobs for Illinois citizens.

Unless the General Assembly acts to extend the Zone Program, enterprise zones will soon begin to expire all across Illinois. The time is now to enact this extension legislation. The time is now to send a message that Illinois is interested in and wants to support economic development and business investment here in our great state.

Why Support SB-3659, Amendment #2?

  • SB-3659 preserves enterprise zones as a premier economic development tool in Illinois’ tool box. What else is out there to create the kind of incentives zones bring?
  • Illinois Enterprise Zones have a proven record of stimulating investment and job creation for both existing Illinois companies and for helping those companies from outside our state to decide to come to Illinois.
  • SB-3659 would result in increased investment and job retention and creation resulting in stabilized and increased state revenues.
  • Ask yourself “Is now the time to send a positive message to the citizens of Illinois that the General Assembly is serious about helping to preserve Illinois jobs?

We sincerely and respectfully ask you to support Senate Bill-3659 without further amendment and to enact it this spring session of the 96th General Assembly.

Illinois Enterprise Zone Association
200 East Knox Street
Morrison, Illinois 61270

John R. Thompson, President
Lee County Ind. Dev. Assn.
(815) 284-3361 (217) 422-9520

J. Craig Coil, Vice President
EDC of Decatur and Macon County

Other Officers and Board Members:

Betty Steinert, Past President
Whiteside County Economic Development

Barb Koch, Secretary
Illinois Valley Area Chamber and Economic Development

Cathy Schluckebeir, Treasurer
City of Quincy

Brandi Stennett, Board Member
City of Mt. Carmel

Janice Kerin, Board Member
St. Clair County

Nora Fesco-Ballerine, Board Member
North Central Illinois Council of Governments

Tom Henderson
Illinois Tax Increment Association



Senate Bill 3659 position paper.pdf 63.11 Kb