SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to stimulate local economic development, state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, is fighting to extend the River Edge Historic Tax Credit Project, an initiative that has created many jobs by allowing businesses to revitalize Rockford’s older, more historic structures.
“We live in a wonderful area, but it is no secret that certain buildings need work,” said Wallace. “This project has resulted in the revival of historic buildings in Rockford that were previously condemned, and created countless jobs in the process. There is still more work to be done, and it makes sense to continue this successful economic development program. There are still so many buildings that can benefit, and the job creation and economic development that result are instrumental to Rockford’s continued success.”
Since its establishment in 2012, the River Edge Historic Tax Credit has giving new life to many historic buildings in Illinois. The Prairie Street Brewhouse in Rockford, for example, used the tax credit program to turn what was once a run-down building into a regional attraction. The Brewhouse construction created 100 jobs in Rockford, and according to Landmarks Illinois, the facility now contributes $341,419 in annual state income. Wallace is working to continue these economic development efforts by introducing Senate Bill 1642, which would allow the tax credit project to continue five years after its original end date in December of this year. Wallace values the economic and employment benefits of this project, and has worked with Landmarks Illinois President and CEO Bonnie McDonald to keep the momentum going.
“Putting the pilot state historic tax credit in place was a vital economic development strategy and regenerative investment by the State of Illinois,” said McDonald. “The pilot phase has proven that the credit works by raising private capital, returning vacant properties to the tax rolls, and returning more than it costs to the state’s general fund.”