Springfield, IL – Today State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) joined other representatives in introducing a measure widely supported by both the business and labor communities. House Bill 5864 would create the Blue Collar Jobs Act, legislation designed to incentivize construction projects in the State of Illinois and create jobs for the middle class.
“Our state workforce is unmatched; they deserve an economy that can put them to work,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Cook County has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, higher than the state average of 4.8% and the national average of 4.1%. This Act will spur much needed economic development and help strengthen the State’s middle class by creating good paying jobs.”
The Blue Collar Jobs Act offers tax incentives to companies making significant capital improvements in Illinois based on the withholding tax paid to construction workers. It does this through the creation of four new tax credits, including:
- High Impact Business construction jobs credit
- Enterprise Zone construction jobs credit
- New Construction EDGE Credit
- River Edge construction jobs credit
The program will work under the same structure as the current EDGE program:
- Tax credit value is 50% of Illinois income tax withheld of workers covered under the agreement;
- Tax credit value rises to 75% of Illinois income tax withheld of workers covered under the agreement in areas designated to be in an underserved area that meets certain poverty, unemployment, and federal assistance rates;
- Tax credit is issued to the organization that builds, renovates or expands the building just as the EDGE tax credit goes to the company hiring the workers. The tax credit is meant to incentivize the company to construct new buildings or improve existing buildings which can’t be built without the use of Illinois labor.
“With an unemployment rate ranked at number 40, Illinois lags behind the rest of the country in ensuring people have access to quality jobs,” Rep. McAuliffe continued. “Illinois needs to encourage investment and growth if we are ever going to stop the population outflow. ”
The tax credits only become available after the work has been fully completed. There is no risk to the State for a company not meeting its requirement as the State has already captured the withholding tax prior to the tax credit being issued.