Letter: We have to save historical tax credits

Since I started working in downtown Rockford nearly 10 years ago, I have been encouraged by the transformation of the city’s center to a more vibrant atmosphere. An influx of residents and commercial development has brought activity to an area once forgotten, with projections suggesting continued growth. Over the past few years, an important component of that investment has been the Historic River Edge Tax Credit. This tax credit is a state initiative that has encouraged redevelopment of historic structures, giving new economic life to buildings left in disarray.

Unfortunately, this tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year, and for projects to take advantage of it, they must be completed before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31. With numerous projects already in the works that will rely on this funding source, it is crucial that we maintain momentum and pass an extension in the General Assembly so that work may continue. This tax credit has and will continue to create jobs, as seen with successful projects like the Prairie Street Brewhouse.

Despite the legislative turmoil our state has faced over the past year, I am optimistic that this is a program that will receive bipartisan support. I am calling on fellow legislators and our community to advocate for its swift passage, and I pledge to push for this bill until it receives approval in Springfield.  

In a few weeks, as the weather warms up and you head out to Dinner on the Dock at the Prairie Street Brewhouse, take a moment to reflect on what this tax credit has accomplished, and what it can do for the future of this community.

–State Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford

Read our report from last year on the River Edge tax credit
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