Illinois to designate Massac County an enterprise zone

MASSAC COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Imagine a tax free weekend all year - well this is the case for businesses in Massac County.

Illinois Enterprise Zone Board evaluated applications and awarded designations to sites in Chicago; Douglas County; Effingham and Effingham County; an intermodal operation shared by Jersey and Greene counties; Massac County; and Whiteside County.

Enterprise zones are meant to encourage investment in depressed areas.

Businesses can qualify for tax incentives like sales tax exemptions on qualifying building materials, investment tax credits, utility tax exemptions and possible local enticements.

Mike Souders is a retired Pharmacist that owns his own contracting company here in Metropolis.

"I've invested my whole life in Metropolis and I'm going to continue to do that…I've got children and grandchildren now, I want them to stay here. So these will be business opportunities for them."

Illinois has certified Massac County as one of six enterprise zones to encourage business development, which is good news for businesses like Souders' contracting company. The tax incentives will save him money.

"I do like the fact that I get help with the investment rather than just it all being out of my pocket. And being able to write it off as  just an expense. I'm actually saving on the sales tax and ill be saving on the taxes for a period of 5 years," Souders explains.

With the exemptions, Souders says he saved about $1,000 to pour concrete and about $500 on the roof. "Probably $25,000 is what over a period of five years I'll save. And that does help on the cost of the building."

Sales tax is 6.25% in the state of Illinois, so the Metropolis City Mayor sees this a tool to get local business to come to the city. So much so the city has invested $40,000 in a third party company to help with the extensive paperwork and application.

Mayor Billy McDaniel explains, "The benefit that the city of metropolis will get from the enterprise one is well worth the time, the effort and the cost in getting it done. It will benefit the city of metropolis for our local business or small business and our large business also."

"I enjoy the community but I probably would not have started this here if I hadn't had some of those incentives…It's an investment in the future. Whether I get to see it come to fruition or not, my children will," Souders concludes.

The county will maintain its designated Enterprise Zone for 15 years. – it's  up for review in the 13 years to determine if they get an extension.

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