“I look forward to discussing ways we can modify this vital economic development
tool so that municipalities continue to realize the benefit well into the future.” – Senator Linda Holmes

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Continuing her focus on job creation, Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) has signed on to two economic development bills that extend the life of Enterprise Zones.  Senate Bill 3253, of which Senator Holmes is a chief co-sponsor, gives local governments the ability to extend Enterprise Zones by 20 years.  Currently, zones can only be in existence for 30 years before expiring.

“We have seen many success stories in attracting business investment and job creation in Enterprise Zones all across the state,” said Holmes.  “In fact, 2010 alone saw over 9,000 new jobs created and over $2.6 billion in business investments in these zones.”

Enterprise Zones offer businesses state and local tax relief as well as regulatory relief for developments and investments in economically challenged areas.  First created in 1982 by the Illinois legislature, there are currently 96 active Enterprise Zones across the state, including a zone in the Des Plaines River Valley in Joliet that has created over 180 jobs and seen over $32 million in investment.

Holmes has also signed onto comprehensive Enterprise Zone legislation being led by Senator Frerichs that would extend the life of Enterprise Zones, as well as institute changes to modernize the program.  Senate Bill 3688 would extend the life of Enterprise Zones from the current 30 year maximum to 55 years in total.  The legislation would also allow the total number of zones to increase by 10 from the current 96 to 106.

In the coming months, a recently formed bi-partisan Senate Special Committee on Enterprise Zone Extensions will travel the state to receive feedback from business and economic development leaders on ways to make Enterprise Zones more effective for economic development.

“I look forward to discussing ways we can modify this vital economic development tool so that municipalities continue to realize the benefit well into the future,” Holmes added.  

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