Incentive Zones


Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts

TIF financing allows a developer or property owner to receive a portion of the increased real estate taxes generated from a rehabilitation or new construction project. Funds can be provided through two methods:

Pay as you go method

A fixed annual dollar amount can be paid directly to the developer based on the amount of the yearly real estate tax increase generated by the project.

Upfront method

Through a bonding process, the City can provide funds during construction. The City borrows money by selling bonds, which are repaid by the increased real estate taxes generated by the development process

What makes a project a good candidate for TIF assistance?

  • Substantial increase in real estate taxes after construction
  • New construction or substantial rehabilitation
  • Adding building square footage
  • Low present real estate value
  • Vacant buildings or land

View TIF Districts


River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERDZ)

The River Edge Redevelopment Zone program provides the following incentives to companies:

Property Tax Abatement

The City portion of property taxes on a parcel may be abated for a period of three years unless the property is in a TIF district or an area designated as a Redevelopment Area under the Industrial Jobs Recovery Law. The amount of the abatement cannot exceed the amount attributable to the construction of improvements or the rehabilitation of existing improvements on the parcel.

Investment Tax Credit

River Edge Zone businesses may claim an extra 0.5% of the cost (“basis”) of qualified depreciable property placed in service in the River Edge Zone as a credit on their state income taxes. This credit is in addition to existing 0.5% investment tax credit allowed all manufacturers in Illinois on state income taxes. Contact the City’s Department of Community Development for State’s definition of “qualified” property.

Sales Tax Exemption

Any building materials used in new construction or rehabilitation of properties located within Rockford’s River Edge Zone and permanently attached to the real estate may be sales tax exempt (8.25%) if a retailer is provided with a Certificate of Eligibility signed by Rockford’s Zone Administrator and a Purchaser’s Statement (both available from the City’s Community Development Department).

Dividends Deductions

Individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts or estates receiving dividends declared by corporations which are located exclusively in Illinois River Edge Zone and which conduct essentially all of their business in the River Edge Redevelopment Zone, may deduct such dividends on state income tax.

Environmental Remediation Tax Credit

Allows for a credit against state income taxes for some non-reimbursed eligible costs for remediation work done on a site in the Zone resulting in a “No Further Remediation Letter” being issued and recorded. This requires a joint review by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the IL DCEO. The property must be in IEPA’s Site Remediation Program to receive the NFR letter. The credit is 0.25 for each dollar spent for non-reimbursed remediation expenses. The credit can be transferred with the property and carried forward for 5 years.

View RERDZ


Enterprise Zone

Property Tax Abatement

Property tax abatement is available on City of Rockford portion of increased taxes due to improvements to land or buildings, if a 2:1 benefit to cost ratio or an alternate 15:1 ratio of total investment costs to EAV is met. Maximum abatement is four years and is only available by application from commercial or industrial projects with job creation. For example, with new construction on formerly vacant land, new building value may be abated for 3 years. Application must be completed and submitted to the City’s Department of Community Development. All taxing districts within the Enterprise Zone have agreements with Rockford to participate in uniform Enterprise Zone abatements.

NOTE: Abatement does not apply to City taxes currently paid on property – just to City taxes assessed on increases in the value of improvements constructed. Land value cannot be abated.

Investment Tax Credit

Enterprise Zone businesses may claim an extra 0.5% of the cost (“basis”) of qualified depreciable property placed in service in the Enterprise Zone as a credit on their state income taxes. This credit is in addition to existing 0.5% investment tax credit allowed all manufacturers in Illinois on state income taxes. Contact the City’s Department of Community Development for State’s definition of “qualified” property.

Sales Tax Exemption

Any building materials used in new construction or rehabilitation of properties located within Rockford’s Enterprise Zone and permanently attached to the real estate may be sales tax exempt (8.25%) if a retailer is provided with a Certificate of Eligibility signed by Rockford’s Zone Administrator and a Purchaser’s Statement (both available from the City’s Community Development Department). If materials are purchased outside the State of Illinois, they must be delivered to the address of the property located in the Enterprise Zone boundary for the certificate of eligibility to be valid. This is the only Enterprise Zone incentive also available to home-owners. Contact the City’s Community Development Department at 987-5632 for the proper forms and procedure to follow to obtain this exemption.

NOTE: You must present both a completed, signed and dated Certificate of Eligibility and Purchaser’s Statement to the building supplies retailer.

Illinois Enterprise Zone Business Participation Loan Program

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) may participate in small business loans up to 25% of the total amount of a project, but not less than $10,000 or more than $750,000. Businesses locating in (or expanding in) the Enterprise Zone can contact their local banker about the program. Applicants should proceed with the prescribed paperwork required for a private bank loan, and that lender then applies to DCEO for participation. DCEO’s rate can either vary or it may be fixed, but this loan allows the bank to offer the borrower a lower “blended” interest rate than on a loan without the State’s participation. The bank may retain 0.5% of the DCEO rate to cover servicing costs or they may pass along the points to the borrower.

View Enterprise Zones