An enterprise zone is a specific area designated by the State of Illinois in cooperation with a local government to receive tax incentives and other benefits to stimulate economic activity. The State statute authorizing enterprise zones took effect in 1982. Currently 91 enterprise zones exist in Illinois. They range from a half square mile to twelve square miles. A list of cities having enterprise zones is found at the end of this document.

Investment Tax Credit- The state of Illinois allows a .5% credit against state income taxes for investments in qualified property used in an enterprise zone.

Carry Forward.
Additional Credit.
Qualifying Taxpayers.
Qualified Property.

Examples of qualifying property:

Jobs Tax Credit- Employers in an Enterprise Zone may obtain a tax credit on their Illinois income taxes for hiring dislocated or economically disadvantaged individuals.

Amount of Credit.
Eligible Employees.
Carry Forward. This credit may be carried forward up to 5 years.

Employer Advertising. An employer seeking to obtain the jobs tax credit can advertise with the local SSG or SDA, note that the business is within an enterprise zone, and specify that the business seeks to hire workers certified as eligible for services under Titles II or III of JTPA....

Illinois Sales Tax Exemptions- An 8% combined Chicago and Illinois sales tax exemption on building materials purchased from a Chicago business for use in real estate remodeling, rehabilitation or new construction.

Building Materials.

Purchaser's role.
Retailer's role.
Eligible retailers.
Point of sale exemption.
Eligible building materials.
Ineligible Items. Items not qualifying include tools, machinery, free standing appliances and tacked-down carpeting.
Retailer Separate from Contractor.
Out-of-State Manufacturer.

Machinery Or Pollution Control.- A similar 6.25% state sales tax exemption is available on purchases of personal property used in the assembly or manufacturing process or in the operation of a pollution control facility within an enterprise zone.

Investment Required.
Eligible Personal Property.
Eligible investments.
Sale Location.

Utility Tax Exemption - A state utility tax exemption on gas, electricity and telecommunications is available to businesses located in enterprise zones.

Exemption Length.
Exemption Amounts.
Business Eligibility.
Eligible investments.

Property Tax Abatement in Cook County - There are two types of property tax incentives related to enterprise zones: tax abatement and assessment reduction. (see below for information on assessment reduction)

Abatement vs. Assessment Reduction. Assessment reduction means to reduce the value of real estate so that when the value is multiplied by local tax rates, the resulting taxes will be lower. The assessment reduction incentive is available in Cook County only. Abatement means to give up or eliminate taxes.

Abatement In A Zone. Any taxing district may order the county clerk to abate a portion of its taxes on new construction or renovation of real property located in a zone. The increase in assessed value due to new construction, rehabilitation or renovation is left untaxed for a term set by local ordinance.

Calculating the Abatement.

Property Value = Land + Existing Buildings + Improvements. When valuing property, each local assessing officer sets a value on the land. He or she next determines a value for the buildings and other improvements. These are added together to obtain the parcel's assessed value.

Improvements Assessed. Every time a property is improved, it is reassessed, even if it would not have been scheduled for a reassessment that year. The property will be reassessed once the assessing official receives notice that a building permit has been issued. Limited to Increase. Any abatement obtained will apply only to taxes on the increase in assessed value attributable to the new construction, renovation, or rehabilitation. Taxes based on the land value and previously existing improvements continue to be collected.

Multiplier or Equalizer. Incentives or abatements do not affect the multiplier. The multiplier or equalization factor is the application of a percentage increase or decrease, generated by the Illinois Revenue Department, in order to adjust assessment levels in various counties to the same percentage of full value. By law the average assessed value of all property in a county is required to be 1/3 of the market value of that property.

Tax Rates. Does the abatement of taxes on improvements in an enterprise zone affect the tax rate?

Under the Enterprise Zone Program, the value of abated property is subtracted from the tax base prior to the calculation of the tax rate.

No TIF Abatements.
No Automatic Abatement Eligibility.

Property Tax Reduction in Cook County- Property in Cook County located in an Enterprise Zone is eligible for special property tax incentives under a program called Class 6B.

Reduces 36% to 16%. Industrial property in Cook County is generally assessed at 36% of market value. Under the Class 6B special incentives, improvements to enterprise zone property are assessed at 16% of market value for 8 years. The tax rate remains the same, but a company's tax liability drops because the rate is being multiplied by a much smaller property value. This program also applies to the purchase of existing buildings in enterprise zones, provided the buildings have been vacant for 24 continuous months.

Available only in Cook County.
Manufacturing Purposes.
Apply Before Construction.
Abandoned Property. Note carefully the definition of "abandoned property"....
Progress Reports.
Year of construction.

Assessed value on increase. Even though a property's assessment ratio was reduced via an incentive granted by the Assessor, note that he is not precluded from trying to raise that property's assessed value.

Other Incentives

Zones can offer other incentives including land cost write-downs and building fee waivers.
Dividend Deduction.

Example. Commonwealth Edison and Sears do not qualify because they operate throughout the State and do not conduct substantially all of their operations in enterprise zones.

Corporate Contribution Deduction.

Chicago Real Estate Transaction Tax Exemption. An exemption from the City's Transaction Tax is available for title transfers within a Chicago Enterprise Zone for real estate used for commercial or industrial purposes.

Income Tax Deduction For Financial Institutions.

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