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Small Business
Advocacy Council

20 S. Clark, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60603
Office: (312) 548-8608
Fax: (312) 372-7076
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Reform of the Illinois EDGE Tax Credit

In a perfect world, states would not offer tax incentives to lure companies away from their neighbors. In reality however, this happens all the time. Accordingly, Illinois awards EDGE Tax Credits to companies who threaten to leave the state or as an incentive for businesses to come into Illinois. Last year, approximately 65 million dollars in tax relief was provided to such companies. Many of our members are concerned because 1) the capital outlays generally required to obtain EDGE Tax Credits prevent the majority of small businesses from having a fair chance to receive them 2) the sole discretion for awarding and monitoring these credits rests with one governmental agency.

The SBAC has drafted legislation to eliminate the general requirement that small businesses invest 1 million dollars in infrastructure or equipment to obtain an EDGE Tax Credit. Indeed, many small businesses that employ many folks have no need for such a capital expenditure. The bill also ensures that appropriate mechanisms are in place to monitor these credits and confirm they are having the appropriate economic impact on the State to justify awarding the credits. At the present time, one State agency is responsible for awarding the EDGE Tax Credits and monitoring whether they effectively promote growth and jobs in Illinois.

The SBAC's proposed legislation will create an independent board charged with issuing the EDGE Tax Credits, ensuring that they are awarded in a consistent manner, and evaluating how the credits impact job creation and the long-term benefits to the state. This would not create a new level of bureaucracy. Rather, it would simply transfer these duties to a more independent agency.