A bill purporting to tighten a business tax incentive has passed an Illinois House committee. New rules aim to encourage small business but also increase accountability in the EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) program. “We want to focus on job creation. We believe this is the area of highest emphasis for the state’s economic development strategy,” said Adam Pollet, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
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“When I saw this legislation, I was beside myself,” said Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “I can’t think of a more complicated way to engage in economic development,” he added, saying it’s almost as if the bill was drawn to keep anyone from applying. A provision particularly chilling to Whitley: EDGE recipients putting tax returns on line. H.B. 3890 has passed the House Revenue and Finance Committee.