Local officials say Jax enterprise zone is operating “business as usual”

By Gary Scott on August 20, 2015 at 1:38pm

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced this week it cannot certify or re-certify 49 new or existing zones, which compensate businesses setting up there on real estate taxes and sales taxes on purchased building materials, because of the ongoing state budget impasse.

DCEO director Jim Schultz said in a statement to the Associated Press that issuing tax incentives would be a disservice to businesses and communities in the state without addressing what’s driving up the high costs of doing business.

Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation President Terry Denison says the local enterprise zone is in effect until 2020, meaning new and existing businesses looking to hire or expand can still take advantage of the benefits the enterprise zone offers.

“Jacksonville’s enterprise zone is one of the younger ones. We got our enterprise zone authority later on. If the leadership of Jacksonville and Morgan County decides that we want to have an enterprise zone- if a business walks into my office this afternoon and says we want to locate in your area, but one of the things we need is enterprise zone benefits- we can offer it to them,” says Denison.

“Obviously, this is just one more sticking point in the battle that’s going in Springfield right now to get a balanced budget.”

Denison says many of the nearly 100 enterprise zones in Illinois are almost 30 years old.

Jacksonville’s zone includes much of the north and northeast part of the city, downtown, and includes two industrial parks.