Local leaders brace for potential impact from federal tax reform - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local leaders brace for potential impact from federal tax reform


A change to the federal tax reform plan has some local leaders worried about how it will impact local development. 
Gary Anderson, with Gary Anderson architects, says nearly 10 Rockford area development sites could feel the impact from a rewrite GOP leaders say will put more money in tax payers' pockets.

"Today, we are giving people of this country their money back," House Speaker Paul Ryan says. "This is their money after all." 

However, early versions of that bill left out historic tax credits -- a tool experts say is essential to spur developments like the Amerock Hotel and Prairie Street Brewhouse. 

"The numbers can work, but only with those tax credits," Gary Anderson, with Gary Anderson Architects says.  

The new write up calls for those historic tax credits to be dispersed over five years instead of all at once. A move Anderson says could prevent developers from investing in Rockford. 

"I think that that's our biggest concern right now is that our normal and typical type of investors ...This probably wouldn't sit that well with them."

And city leaders say the change doesn't sit well with them either. 

"We're concerned that when we go to the marketplace as the rules are put in place that it'll devalue that tax credit," Todd Cagnoni, the Rockford City Administrator says. "So, that is a concern. Then we're evaluating what steps we can take sooner rather than later to protect our interests and be able to use those federal historic tax credits." 

Leaders say, for now, it's a waiting game to see how these potential tax changes will impact the Rockford area.

We're also learning the old sewing machine factory in Belvidere extended its deadline for developers to submit proposals until January with the uncertainty surrounding the historic tax credits.

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