IL leads the way in encouraging job creation - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL leads the way in encouraging job creation

ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

Illinois led the nation last year in creating jobs and encouraging private investment through historic preservation efforts.

That's according to the National Park Service and Rutgers University.

Their report showed that a tax credit program administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency yielded $807 million in private spending on historic rehabilitation projects and created nearly 12,000 jobs.

Pennsylvania was second with $478 million in spending and about 7,700 jobs.

Illinois projects that went forward last year included overhauling Chicago's Wrigley Building, renovating Peoria's Hotel Pere Marquette, revitalizing Rockford's Peacock Brewery, and opening the new Virgin Hotel in Chicago.

The investment and job creation is made possible by a 20 percent federal income tax credit on certain expenditures for rehabilitation of historic properties.

Expenses that qualify for tax credits include architectural and structural renovation, life-safety improvements, and energy-saving upgrades like window repairs.

The federal tax credit doesn't cost Illinois anything, but it produces significant state and local benefits. Developers generally buy materials close to the project site and hire local workers. The rehab of historic buildings often requires more workers at higher wages than new construction does.

Historic renovation projects are a growing part of the Illinois economy. Projects completed over the last ten years had more than $2.1 billion in expenditures qualify for federal tax credits.   

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