Illinois moves to regain its EDGE

EDGE Tax Credits

It looks like Illinois is back in the business of offering Edge tax credits to companies that expand in the state. But that may not be the case for long.


In a mini-breakthrough in warring Springfield, both the House and Senate today signed off by wide bipartisan votes on legislation to allow the state to offer Edge credits to qualifying employers until April 30.


The measure now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who just confirmed; he will sign the extension into law. From a statement: “While the Governor will sign today’s EDGE extension bill, it is our hope the 100th General Assembly works swiftly to pass Sen. Althoff’s THRIVE Job Creation Tax Credit bill that will transform the current program to provide a better value to taxpayers. THRIVE ensures the state only offers tax credits on new jobs created, while also including additional incentives to create jobs in areas that need economic growth like Chicago’s south and west sides.”


Authority to offer such incentives had automatically sunsetted Jan. 1, caught amid the continuous battles in the capital over terms for adopting a fiscal 2018 state budget and fully funding all programs this year.


Both Democrats and Republicans say they want changes in the Edge program, the state’s largest and, by many accounts, most effective tool in getting companies to move and expand here. For instance, Sen. Pam Althoff, R-Crystal Lake, and Melissa Bush, D-Grayslake, are sponsoring legislation to cut the size of Edge incentives and limit them to net versus retained positions.


Bush referenced that in floor debate today, saying the temporary extension “says to business, ‘We’re open for business,’ ” but that she will continue to work “to get a good (permanent) bill later.”


Of course, putting off the decision until April 30 puts one more item on the table for House Speaker Mike Madigan and Rauner to fight about this spring.


For what it’s worth, all four legislative leaders—Senate President John Cullerton, Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno, House Speaker Madigan and GOP House Leader Jim Durkin—voted for today’s action.

Article originally published by: Crain’s Chicago Business | Greg Hinz