The Illinois Enterprise Zone Act, 20 ILCS 655/1, et seq. (the "Act"), took effect December 7, 1982, and was amended effective in 2012 and 2013. The purpose of the Act is to stimulate business, industrial growth, retention in depressed areas, and neighborhood revitalization of depressed areas by means of relaxed government controls and tax incentives. As amended, the Act requires applicants to satisfy various criteria set forth in Section 4 of the Act. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (the "Department") reviews these applications based on the scoring system set forth in the Act, and then submits its recommendations to the Enterprise Zone Board to review and for approval or denial of such applications. (Applicants should thoroughly review the various appendices included with this applications, as well as the Act and administrative rules applicable to Enterprise Zones when completing this application.)
On-line applications are due to the Department by midnight on December 31, 2016. Manual submission of applications must be postmarked by December 31, 2016. Any electronic application submitted after midnight on December 31, 2016 or hardcopy not postmarked by December 31, 2016, will not receive consideration. Paper documents accompanying any on-line submission must also be postmarked by December 31, 2016 Any paper documents relating to the application that are not postmarked by December 31, 2016 will not be considered.
For Enterprise Zones that are scheduled to expire on or after January 1, 2018, an application process shall begin no sooner than two (2) years prior to the year in which the zone expires, i.e., the application should be submitted by December 31, 2016 in order to potentially avoid any interruption in an Enterprise Zone designation. If you have a current Enterprise Zone that expires after December 31, 2018, and you submit an application this year, your application will not be accepted for consideration. It is recommended that you apply no earlier than the second calendar year prior to your year of expiration.
For example: ABC County Enterprise Zone expires on July 1, 2019. ABC County reapplies for a new designation by December 31, 2016, for consideration and approval effective January 1, 2018. The Enterprise Zone may set aside such application because the application was submitted more than two (2) years prior to the year of expiration.
No preference for designation as an Enterprise Zone will be given to the previously designated zone. (20 ILCS 655/4(1).)
Under the new designation, the total possible term for the Enterprise Zone is 25 years. The initial designation shall be for fifteen (15) years; however, an Enterprise Zone shall be subject to review by the Enterprise Zone Board after thirteen (13) years for an additional 10-year designation. During the review process, the Board shall consider the costs incurred by the State and units of local government as a result of tax benefits received by the enterprise zone. (20 ILCS 655/5.3(c).)