Bid for $1.2 billion fertilizer plant passes through House
Springfield, IL – A proposal to build a $1.2 billion fertilizer plant near Tuscola advanced out of an Illinois House committee on Thursday.
Officials with Project Cronus met with House leaders on Wednesday to discuss the positive economic impact the proposed large-scale fertilizer plant would provide for east-central Illinois. Construction of the facility would create approximately 2,000 construction jobs and attract at least $500 million in investment. Upon completion, the plant would create 150 full-time, permanent jobs.
State Representative Adam Brown (R-Champaign) is sponsoring legislation to level the playing field and give Illinois a competitive advantage in the siting process for Project Cronus. Illinois is competing with Iowa for the plant, with Iowa offering up to $35 million in tax incentives.
“Project Cronus would be a huge boost to the local economy in terms of construction jobs and overall investment,” Brown said. “Tuscola is the ideal site for the plant, given its multiple natural gas lines and railroad connections. But Illinois needs to step up its incentive package to bring this project to the state.”
House Bill 2496 would qualify the Tuscola development for High Impact Business Incentives in the Enterprise Zone Act providing: sales tax exemptions; investment tax credits; exemption from state gas and electric taxes; and a state sales tax exemption on personal property. The legislation would also provide up to $12 million in property tax abatement for the plant. HB 2496 was passed unanimously by the House Revenue & Finance Committee Thursday afternoon.
Representative Brown said the legislation is necessary because many Illinois project incentives require the creation of 500 permanent jobs, while only $12 million of investment. The Tuscola development is currently unqualified for many of these incentives because Project Cronus would create about 150 permanent jobs, although the project would attract at least $500 million in investments.
“We’ve put together a coalition of labor and business leaders in a bipartisan effort to pass this incentive package for Project Cronus,” Brown said. “Today was the first step forward in landing this vitally important economic development project for east-central Illinois.”