Advocates say a statewide property tax credit would boost development in blighted areas

May 12, 2014

After the recent economic downturn, many Illinois communities were left with a significant number of abandoned houses. Cook County alone is estimated to have 55-thousand such vacancies which drives down surrounding property values.

Charlotte Flickinger, with the Illinois Housing Development Authority, says a statewide property tax credit would stimulate growth and development.

"These homes attract crime, they're a blight, they drag down the property values of other houses, so we need to give local governments a tool that they can use to offer a property tax incentive for folks to move into these houses, to fix up these houses, rather than just demolishing."

Flickinger says the tax credit would bring in more local tax revenue in the long run. Local governments would be able to choose whether to offer the tax credit. It would only be available in depressed areas for people willing to invest in rehabbing the houses.