Jacksonville’s state representative is hopeful lawmakers can pass legislation that would positively impact the vacant Jacksonville Developmental Center, a building that has been vacant since 2012.
House Bill 149, introduced in January by State Representative Larry Walsh of suburban Chicago, would create the Illinois State Property Revitalization Tax Credit Act. It gives a credit equal to 30 percent of expenditures into the rehabilitation of certain state-owned property, including the JDC.
State rep C.D. Davidsmeyer says there’s not much difference between this bill and Senate Bill 341, which has been sitting in committee since last May, but he says HB149 has had a lot of bipartisan effort put into it.
“The state has a lot of excess property that is not only not in use, but is becoming dilapidated very quickly, and so in order to move this property a little bit quicker off the rolls, we’re trying to provide incentives for people to come along and take this land,” he explains.
Davidsmeyer says he’s also filed a bill, HB4075, minus the tax credits, to streamline the process of purchasing the JDC property.
“There’s a very lengthy process for getting rid of excess state property. There’s time periods that have to be listed for other state entities and other forms of government and appraisals and all these things that take a year and half to two years to even go through that process,” says Davidsmeyer.
“It would be a huge victory because it would cut through a lot of the government red tape in getting rid of what’s basically a waste to the state.”
But, Davidsmeyer believes tax credits have to be a part of whatever passes.
Davidsmeyer says he’s heard that Democrats in the legislature don’t like the tax credits portion of the bill. He says $40 million would be allotted in credits over a ten-to-twenty-year period.