|Commercial businesses to benefit from EZ expansion|
|Written by Jennifer Novoseletsky, Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 07 March 2013 11:22|
As companies may have a hard time keeping up with sales tax in today’s economy, some have the opportunity to become exempt from certain state taxes.
Commercial businesses within Downtown Bloomington relying on or hoping to receive state tax exemptions can now look forward to enterprise zone expanding to the area.
Businesses around the Downtown Bloomington area can already get in contact with EZ to help reduce taxes in specific projects.
“Enterprise zone is a state of Illinois based economic development incentive that’s been around since 1980s and it provides commercial businesses, located within the boundaries of that zone a package of state tax incentives,” Ken Springer, director of Research and Client Services Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal area, said.
Designed to incentivize projects to invest more money into Downtown Bloomington, the best way to look at EZ is as if it is an incentives platform, Springer said.
There are three most popularly taken incentives from EZ, he added. The most prevalent incentive is a sales tax exemption on building materials such as carpet, wood, nails, concrete and so forth, which all go toward savings for real estate.
The second is an increase in Illinois investment tax credit, which is tax credit taken on investment into machinery and equipment and the third is the state’s natural gas tax.
“Basically our role is to expand the boundaries of the zone, make sure that businesses and property owners know the incentive is available and then should they want to use that incentive we will help them operationalize that,” Springer said.
While EZ is not a physical building, it is available to those businesses around the boundaries of the company, Springer explained. EZ is basically a line on the map and businesses around the presence have the benefits of the incentives, he explained.
“It’s hope that the presence of these incentives in Downtown Bloomington, will help projects, help property owners, help businesses that might have been thinking about expanding then maybe push them over the edge and say, ’OK yeah we should really invest in some money because we have these incentives that we can take advantage of right now,’” Springer said.
For those who want to use EZ today, it is available to commercial businesses. It just takes some paperwork through the company, which then sends off the paperwork to the state and it is as easy as that, Springer said.
EZ takes action by five local governments, three in McLean County and two in Fort County, Springer explained. The expansion on the company to the Downtown Bloomington area was approved a couple weeks ago and the company is now doing the outreach and becoming fully approved, Springer said.