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State of Illinois Launches Blue Collar Jobs Act Construction Tax Credits for Illinois Businesses

Press Release - Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Incentives provide up to 75 percent income tax credits on construction jobs for eligible companies

SPRINGFIELD - Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the launch of the Blue Collar Jobs Act (BCJA) Tax Credit application for eligible companies. BCJA is a bipartisan legislative package designed to promote economic expansion and growth in Illinois by incentivizing construction projects. The legislation makes $20 million in tax credits available per year for eligible companies.

"From my administration's Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, we've put economic opportunity at the forefront in legislation passed and policies implemented," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Today, I am proud to announce yet another investment in our communities—the Blue Collar Jobs Act Tax Credit—to promote construction projects in underserved areas, while creating more good-paying jobs up and down the state."

"Illinois continues to put polices and programs in place that support our working families and their tremendous impact to our state economy," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "The Blue Collar Jobs Act Tax Credit will create jobs and opportunities in areas that need it the most by broadening avenues for new construction and projects that will take our state even further."

The BCJA amended legislation for Illinois' premier incentive programs to provide tax credits attributable to the wages paid to construction workers on eligible projects. Eligible companies include those who are located in an Enterprise Zone (EZ) or a River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ), companies designated a High Impact Business (HIB), or companies with an agreement under the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Program. Companies that completed construction projects in 2021 (the effective date of the legislation) or later are eligible to apply for credits.

"By offering tax incentives through the bipartisan Blue Collar Jobs Act, the State is bolstering construction projects and supporting economic development throughout Illinois," said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. "The innovative tax credit structure will help create new, good-paying construction jobs while encouraging businesses to increase investments in Illinois' communities."

Eligible companies can receive tax credits equal to 75 percent of the income tax attributable to construction workers on eligible projects located in an underserved area, or 50 percent for projects located in other areas. The BCJA is designed to further incentivize major capital investments in communities across Illinois and create good-paying construction jobs.

"It's not every day that the General Assembly is able to work across the aisle to pass legislation to support Illinois workers at the magnitude of this Blue Collar Jobs Act," said Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria).  "I'm pleased to see this Act come to fruition and look forward to seeing the resulting economic development and progress across the state."

"Working families are at the heart of our communities, and the Blue Collar Jobs Act incentivizes construction jobs across the state, especially in communities that need it most," said Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). "I'm proud of our work to support the building trades as well as incentives that promote growth and opportunity."

"Illinois is a great place to do business, and the tax credits provided by the Blue Collar Jobs Act will encourage capital investments across Illinois," said Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford). "Incentivizing major construction projects while supporting manufacturers will have a long lasting, positive economic impact on Illinois communities."

"Communities in every corner of Illinois will feel the impact of the Blue Collar Jobs Act firsthand as construction projects receive new tax credits," said Representative Kelly Burke (D-Evergreen Park). "From creating new jobs in project localities to increasing foot traffic and incentivizing investing in Illinois, this Act will spur economic development across the state."

Providing tax incentives specifically for construction projects supports job creation and additional investments in communities. DCEO currently leverages this innovative tax credit structure for construction jobs as part of the Reimagining Energy and Vehicles (REV) and Manufacturing Illinois Chips for Real Opportunity Act (MICRO) tax credit programs.

DCEO will host a technical assistance webinar to share details regarding the BCJA program application and processes on Monday, June 26, 2023, from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Click here to sign up and RSVP; companies looking for information are encouraged to email or visit the BCJA website.

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