State of Illinois launches blue collar jobs act construction tax credits for businesses

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Blue Collar Jobs Act (BCJA) Tax Credit application for eligible companies was launched last week, a bipartisan legislative package designed to promote economic expansion and growth in Illinois by incentivizing construction projects.

The legislation makes $20 million in tax credits available per year for eligible companies.

“From my administration’s Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, we’ve put economic opportunity at the forefront in legislation passed and policies implemented,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Today, I am proud to announce yet another investment in our communities—the Blue Collar Jobs Act Tax Credit—to promote construction projects in underserved areas, while creating more good-paying jobs up and down the state.”

The BCJA amended legislation for Illinois’ premier incentive programs to provide tax credits attributable to the wages paid to construction workers on eligible projects.

Eligible companies include those who are located in an Enterprise Zone (EZ) or a River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ), companies designated a High Impact Business (HIB), or companies with an agreement under the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Program. Companies that completed construction projects in 2021 (the effective date of the legislation) or later are eligible to apply for credits.

“By offering tax incentives through the bipartisan Blue Collar Jobs Act, the State is bolstering construction projects and supporting economic development throughout Illinois,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “The innovative tax credit structure will help create new, good-paying construction jobs while encouraging businesses to increase investments in Illinois’ communities.”

Eligible companies can receive tax credits equal to 75 percent of the income tax attributable to construction workers on eligible projects located in an underserved area, or 50 percent for projects located in other areas. The BCJA is designed to further incentivize major capital investments in communities across Illinois and create good-paying construction jobs.

“Working families are at the heart of our communities, and the Blue Collar Jobs Act incentivizes construction jobs across the state, especially in communities that need it most,” said Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). “I’m proud of our work to support the building trades as well as incentives that promote growth and opportunity.”

DCEO will host a technical assistance webinar to share details regarding the BCJA program application and processes on Monday, June 26, 2023, from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Click here to sign up and RSVP; companies looking for information are encouraged to email ceo.bcja@illinois.gov or visit the BCJA website.

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