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Thursday, June 2, 2022 Kristi DeLaurentiis (708) 922-4670
Governor Pritzker signs Southland Reactivation Act Law—creates new tool to revitalize south suburban region
The Southland Reactivation Act, championed by State Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights), State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex), the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA), and others was signed by Governor Pritzker on Friday, May 27 as Public Act 102-1010.
Seen as a major victory for Southland communities, the legislation creates a tax abatement incentive to property developers who purchase commercial and industrial property in the south suburbs. The law targets eligible properties within Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton or Worth Townships in Cook County.
“The Southland Reactivation Act is an exciting economic tool that can now be used to attract investment to our community,” DeLuca said. “By encouraging businesses to move into the area and create jobs, we’ll create an environment that expands the local tax base and drives down property tax costs on homeowners and existing businesses.”
Identified properties that meet qualifying criteria would be assessed at 50% of the last known equalized assessed value. For the first year a property is certified as a southland reactivation property, the aggregate tax bill liability for the property cannot exceed $100,000. Discounts on the liability would decrease gradually, but continue for a total of 12 years.
“This law will bring new business to the Southland by incentivizing the revitalization of commonly overlooked properties,” Joyce said. “It will be transformative as it provides Southland communities with a new economic development tool that breaks the disinvestment cycle by lowering high property tax burdens.”
SSMMA mayors within the region worked with lead sponsors DeLuca and Joyce to craft legislation that would get troubled properties across the Southland back in productive re-use. Said SSMMA Executive Director Kristi DeLaurentiis, “South suburban municipalities and the development community are thrilled that the Southland Reactivation Act is now law. There is already growing interest in investing in our region.”
SSMMA President Bob Kolosh, Mayor of the Village of Thornton said, “This is a game changer for the Southland. This new economic development tool gives us a leg up and is sure to bring in new investment, new jobs, economic recovery, and tax base growth benefiting everyone.”
“Starting today, the act will allow us to address blight and re-establish strong industrial and commercial properties throughout the south suburbs, something sorely needed,” said Mayor Rick Reinbold, Village of Richton Park. “We now have a unique tool that lowers the cost of investment which provides an immediate opportunity to build back better and strengthen our region.”
“This law will move us toward a more equitable future and a robust tax base for the Southland,” said Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. “As it revitalizes the industrial hub of the Midwest, it will also mean lower property taxes for homeowners as the tax base expands.”
The Southland Reactivation Act, introduced as Senate Bill 3189, is now Public Act 102-1010 and is effective immediately.
The South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) is an intergovernmental agency dedicated to meeting the needs of communities in the south suburban Chicago area. Serving 45 municipalities representing a population of nearly 750,000 in southern Cook and eastern Will Counties, SSMMA members work cooperatively on transportation, land use, economic development, stormwater and open space planning, infrastructure, community development, housing, and legislative matters. More information is available at www.ssmma.org.