State Legislative Issues

State Historic Tax Credit Effort

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.


Both the Illinois House and Illinois Senate have introduced bills to create a State Historic Tax Credit. Rep. Jerry Costello II has sponsored the House Bill HB5802, and Sen. Pamela J. Althoff has introduced the Senate version, SB2869. Both bills call for an Illinois Rehabilitation and Revitalization Tax Credit Act, “equal to 20% of qualified expenditures incurred by a qualified taxpayer pursuant to a qualified rehabilitation plan on a qualified structure, provided that the total amount of such qualified expenditures exceeds the greater of $5,000 or the adjusted basis of the property.” Read more below.



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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