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Illinois legislators consider more tax credits; Invest in Kids not among them | Illinois


(The Center Square) – Illinois legislators continue to consider different types of tax credits, but some are urging the General Assembly to renew one that expired at the end of last year. 

At a recent House Revenue and Finance Committee, legislators heard about a tax credit for affordable housing. State Rep. Dagmara Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, said the measure is needed to create more housing options. 

“The $20 million annual program over six years will generate up to 1,150 affordable homes and apartments per year, more than $650 million in economic benefits over a decade and more than 7,000 jobs,” Avelar said. 

The committee also considered a tax credit for live theater production with advocates saying Chicago is turning into a testing ground for productions headed to New York, and with that comes economic activity benefiting the community and government coffers. 

Another credit being considered is one for installing fire sprinklers in residential units. Erik Hoffer from the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board told the committee the proposal would be to cover 50% of the installation of a fire sprinkler system for residential units up to $10,000.

“If we were to cap this at 2,000 homes based on the average cost of a $4,095 income tax credit, it would result in about an $8.2 million cost,” Hoffer said. 

In the Senate, other tax credits that legislators are considering include ones for the music industry, giving to community foundations and for community foundations helping with employees’ student loans. 

State Rep. Dagmara Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, Chicago Broadways President and CEO Lou Raizin, and Erik Hoffer from Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board during a House committee. State Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, on the House floor.

But, state Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, said legislators continue to neglect discussions on restoring the Invest in Kids school choice scholarship tax credit program. 

“Supporting children, offering a chance at a better education, and a better life to kids in poverty should be a bipartisan issue,” Miller said on the House floor. 

Teachers unions opposed Invest in Kids, which gave private donors a 75% Illinois income tax credit for donations to scholarship granting organizations. The program expired at the end of last year, leaving thousands of families that are part of the program and the private schools they were attending uncertain for their future educational opportunities. 

“This is an easy decision to bring back the Invest in Kids scholarship program and I encourage my colleagues to do so,” Miller said. 

Legislators return for the final weeks of spring session Monday. They are scheduled to adjourn May 24. They have until May 31 to pass a budget with simple majorities.

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Caleb Alexander

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