State Legislative Issues

State Historic Tax Credit

On July 26, 2018, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation that improves and expands the existing River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit (RERZ). The bill, which passed the Illinois General Assembly in late May with near unanimous support, amends the RERZ to enhance its usability and establishes a new statewide Historic Preservation Tax Credit across Illinois. The bill, SB3527, was authored by primary sponsors Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) and Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford).

The RERZ and Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit bills have been supported by Landmarks Illinois and the American Institute of Architects-Illinois since 2009. Both organizations provided language, testimony, research and expertise on tax credit best practices for the authors of SB3527.

Read the full Historic Preservation Tax Credit law here.

2019 Schedule

The Illinois State Historic Preservation Office released the 2019 schedule for those applying for the new statewide historic preservation tax credit. See all important dates and the full schedule here. 

Landmarks Illinois has provided the following FAQ document to better explain the legislation.


Existing RERZ Historic Tax Credit Program

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed bipartisan legislation in August 2017 to extend the River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ) Historic Tax Credit through 2021. This vital historic preservation tool and economic development incentive is currently available in the Illinois river cities of: Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria and Rockford. The RERZ tax credit provides a state income-tax credit equal to 25% of a project’s qualified expenditures to owners of certified historic structures located within eligible Illinois cities who undertake a certified rehabilitation during the taxable year.


A state historic rehabilitation tax credit is critical to create new jobs and leverage private investment in Illinois. Without this tax credit, Illinois risks losing hundreds of redevelopment, investment and job creation opportunities to neighboring states that do have this type of incentive, thereby slowing our overall economic recovery. In the fall of 2013, Landmarks Illinois released a study demonstrating the positive economic return a state historic tax credit would provide for communities and the state. Read the study: “Economic Development Opportunities from an Illinois Historic Tax Credit.”

Further Reading


The Cooperage 214 in Peoria one example of a historic preservation project in Illinois that used the RERZ Historic Tax Credit. The preservation project at the Cooperage 214 transformed a 27,000-square-foot cooperage factory in Peoria’s downtown warehouse district into attractive office space and 18 luxury apartments.

Before Restoration

After Restoration

Before Restoration

After Restoration

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