A bipartisan measure that extends tax credits for companies and brings jobs to Illinois is now headed to the Governor after it passed the Senate on Sunday. State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry), chief co-sponsor of House Bill 162, says the legislation serves as a vital economic tool to ensure businesses are staying right here in Illinois.
House Bill 162 extends the program known as EDGE, short for Economic Development for a Growing Economy, until June 20, 2022. EDGE had previously expired on April 30, 2017.
“It is necessary that the state encourages businesses to locate or expand their operations in Illinois by awarding them with tax credits when they are actively considering relocating to another state,” said Sen. Althoff. “Illinois’ economy relies on the ability to create and maintain jobs, and the state must do everything it can to ensure good paying jobs are staying here.”
The EDGE program was created in 1999 and serves as the state’s main job incentive program, creating nearly 34,000 jobs in Illinois and retaining another 46,000 since its creation.
HB 162 makes several reforms to the program including changes concerning capital investment and employment requirements, distinguishing between larger employers (+100 employees) and smaller employers (100 or less employees), as well as new provisions regarding supplier diversity, claw-back, and how the credit is calculated.
Ultimately, HB 162 was the result of negotiations between several Senate and House legislators and business groups.
“It is so important to business owners in my district, who are relatively close to the Wisconsin border, that we continue these tax credits,” said Sen. Althoff. “These employers are frequently being solicited to move across the border, and it’s so important to continue to provide them with incentives to stay, especially in a time when jobs are already leaving our state in record numbers.”