Incentives

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Joliet views economic development as a tool to promote a high standard of living. Access to employment opportunities, housing and a diversity of goods and services results in a stronger community. When appropriate, business incentives are utilized to foster development that meets the strategic goals of the City.

The most valuable business incentive a community can provide are a combination of speed, clarity and responsiveness. Joliet is renowned for its ability to work with prospects to insure that all phases of development progress in a timely manner. From concept planning to final inspection, the Joliet development team provides highly personalized attention to each project. 

Formal incentive programs are available to meet the needs of business:

Property Tax Abatements
Tax Increment Finance Districts - City Center and Downtown
Tax Increment Finance District - Cass Street
Tax Increment Finance District - Medical District
Tax Increment Finance District - Old Silver Cross (Proposed)
Opportunity Zone
Special Service Area - Downtown Core
Enterprise Zone - Des Plaines River Valley
New Markets Tax Credits
Small Business Administration - HUBZone Program
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

Find more information on each program below:

 

 

Property Tax Abatements

Abatements of property taxes may be approved for business development or redevelopment that meets certain criteria. This includes the level of job creation, compensation of workforce, total investment in plant and capital, and business sectors being targeted by the County. At present, these target industries have been designated as highly desirable for recruitment: • Transportation & Logistics • Advanced Manufacturing • Food Processing • Life Sciences • Energy Due to the highly individualized nature of this program, prospective applicants are encouraged to inquire with the City to determine eligibility.

 

Tax Increment Finance Districts - City Center TIF and Downtown TIF

The City of Joliet has two active tax increment finance districts within the core area of Downtown.  The strategic goals for redevelopment within Downtown Joliet are to expand market rate multi-family units; create mixed-use redevelopment opportunities; encourage additional cultural and entertainment uses; and provide for public reinvestment in infrastructure and public amenities.  Redevelopment projects meeting these goals will be given priority when considering incentive approval.

A description and map of each district is summarized as follows:

City Center TIF
The City created its first TIF District in 2000 in an effort to revitalize Downtown properties.  Following several amendments and a total of ten (10) redevelopment agreements, the district remains active and is an example of a successful economic development initiative.  The City Center TIF District is set to expire in 2023, but is being considered for a 12-year extension that would keep it active until 2035.  Guidelines and a pdf fill-in form may be used to apply for TIF district assistance. A TIF map identifies the physical boundaries of the district.

Downtown TIF District
In 2018 the City created a new Downtown TIF District to expand the territory envisioned for future revitalization, and to provide a longer timeline for areas that are prime redevelopment targets.  This district is scheduled to remain active until 2041.  Guidelines and a pdf fill-in form may be used to apply for TIF district assistance. A TIF map identifies the physical boundaries of the district.

Tax Increment Finance District – Cass Street

The City has designated portions of the Cass Street Corridor as a tax increment finance (TIF) district. This TIF district provides revenues that are utilized for funding economic development related activities within the corridor. This district has been in place since 2011 and has resulted in a retail center project.

Guidelines and a pdf fill-in form may be used to apply for TIF district assistance. A TIF map identifies the physical boundaries of the district.

The strategic development goals within the Cass Street Corridor are to expand market retail opportunities, service opportunities and to rehabilitate commercial properties. Projects meeting these goals will be given priority when considering incentive approval.

 

Tax Increment Finance District – Medical District

The City has designated the commercial and industrial neighborhood immediately adjacent to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center as a tax increment finance (TIF) district. This TIF district provides revenues that will be utilized for funding economic development related activities within the corridor. This district was designated as of January 2017 and is in the very early stages of being implemented.

A TIF map identifies the physical boundaries of the district. Guidelines and a pdf fill-in form may be used to apply for TIF district assistance.

The present strategic development goals within the Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center TIF are to expand commercial and office uses that will complement the existing medical district. Additional goals will be formulated as the City concludes an outreach effort with business and property owners in order to determine the perceived needs of stakeholders.

Tax Increment Financing District - Old Silver Cross Property (Proposed)

The City is in the process of implementing a TIF District in the area that formerly housed Silver Cross Hospital.  The district is envisioned as a means of creating mixed-use development interest in an underserved area of the City.  The TIF feasibility study and TIF boundaries of the proposed district are outlined here.  Final action on this district is anticipated in early 2019.  

Opportunity Zone

Federal legislation that created the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act resulted in the establishment of five opportunity zones within the City of Joliet.  A map of Joliet territory with Opportunity Zone designation may be accessed here.  

Private investment in Opportunity Zones provide for certain deferrals in capital gains that may be advantageous for development activity.  An FAQ and IRS Resource Page link provide information on this federal program.

Special Service Area – Downtown Core

The City has enacted a special service area (SSA) to provide funding for redevelopment grant programs, marketing and other economic development purposes within the downtown and major business corridors entering downtown. The City collaborates with an independent organization (Joliet City Center Partnership) in managing activities that foster an improved and vital downtown.

An SSA map identifies the properties served by the special service area. Incentive programs available include Small Business Assistance Grants, Façade Improvement Grants, Interior Improvement Grants, and a Catalytic Incentive Package. A description of available Development Incentives Program details will serve as a resource for applicants. Contact information regarding these programs may be directed to Lauren Las at (815) 774-6066 or via lauren.las@jolietdowntown.com.

 

Des Plaines River Valley Enterprise Zone

The City of Joliet and four neighboring jurisdictions administer a State of Illinois designated enterprise zone. The Enterprise Zone Map identifies the portion of the community that has been for inclusion.

The State of Illinois offers incentives designed to encourage businesses to locate or expand operations within an enterprise zones. A summary of incentives are identified below:

Sales Tax Exemption
A 6.25 percent state sales tax exemption is permitted on building materials to be used in an Enterprise Zone. The Materials must be permanently affixed to the property and must be purchased from a qualified retailer.

Machinery and Equipment Consumables/Pollution Control Facilities Sales Tax Exemption
A 6.25 percent state sales tax exemption of purchases of tangible personal property to be used in the manufacturing or assembly process or in the operation of a pollution control facility within an Enterprise Zone. Eligibility is based on a business making an investment of at least $5 million in qualified property that creates a minimum of 200 fulltime-equivalent jobs, a business investing at least $40 million in a zone and retaining at least 2,000 jobs, or a business investing at least $40 million in a zone which causes the retention of at least 80 percent of the jobs existing on the date it is certified to receive the exemption.

Enterprise Zone Utility Tax Exemption
A state utility tax exemption on gas, electricity and the Illinois Commerce Commission's administrative charge and telecommunication excise tax is available to businesses located in Enterprise Zones. Eligible businesses must make an investment of at least $5 million in qualified property that creates a minimum of 200 full-time equivalent jobs in Illinois, an investment of $20 million that retains at least 1,000 full-time-equivalent jobs, or an investment of $175 million that creates 150 full-time equivalent jobs in Illinois. The majority of the jobs created must be located in the Enterprise Zone where the investment occurs.

Enterprise Zone Investment Tax Credit
A state investment tax credit of 0.5 percent is allowed a taxpayer who invests in qualified property in a Zone. Qualified property includes machinery, equipment and buildings. The credit may be carried forward for up to five years. This credit is in addition to the regular 0.5 percent Investment tax credit, which is available throughout the state, and up to 0.5 percent credit for increased employment over the previous year.

Contribution Deduction
Businesses may deduct double the value of a cash or in-kind contribution to an approved project of a Designated Zone Organization from taxable income.

The Des Plaines River Valley Enterprise Zone is managed by a Zone Administrator. Information pertaining to the Zone may be director to Mr. Dan Vera via dprvezone@aol.com.

 

New Markets Tax Credit

The U.S. Department of the Treasury – Community Development Financial Institutions Fund offers investors with federal tax credits to encourage lending to economically challenged areas. Through attractive interest rates and flexible lending provisions, private capital can flow to areas underserved by traditional lending. A portion of Joliet is authorized for the New Market Tax Credit Program. A Property Eligibility Mapping Tool can identify eligible properties. A summary of the program is contained in this video.

Loans and investments are made through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Potential applicants may utilize the CDFI list for Illinois for potential funding partners.

 

Small Business Administration - HUBZone

The Small Business Administration offers a program for Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZ). The program established preferences in federal contracting for eligible businesses within a HUBZone. A portion of Joliet is located within such a zone. A HUBZone Mapping Tool can identify eligible properties. Details and contact information may be found in the HUBZone summary.

 

Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity is the State agency responsible for coordinating initiatives to expand business growth. A number of incentive and assistance programs are available. A Programs and Services Guide provides an indication of State economic development resources.