To the Editor:
On behalf of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp., I’d like to emphasize the importance of measures approved by the Illinois General Assembly recently that will contribute to the economic development of DeKalb County.
The creation of a data center tax incentive will enhance the ability to attract the development of data centers – critical infrastructure facilities that store, process and distribute large amounts of data for a wide range of industries.
DeKalb is ideal for data centers because of the availability of high-voltage electric power from ComEd, abundant municipal water supply from the city of DeKalb, and virtually unlimited broadband capacity through a high-speed fiber optic network built by Northern Illinois University, with the support of the state of Illinois and DeKalb County.
Numerous data center prospects have considered DeKalb County, but selected nearby out-of-state locations because of more favorable tax treatment. Approval of the data center tax incentive eliminates this barrier to development.
Data center development would contribute to the local economy by providing high-wage technology jobs and expanding the tax base to support schools, municipalities and other governmental services. Data centers employ highly skilled computer and information technology professionals, many of whom are educated at NIU and Kishwaukee College.
The leadership of our local legislators – Rep. Jeff Keicher, Rep. Tom Demmer, Sen. Dave Syverson and Sen. Brian Stewart – was crucial to the approval of this and other economic development initiatives. Their efforts are commendable.
The General Assembly also extended the state’s research and development tax credit to 2027. This credit is valuable to Illinois innovators and the manufacturing and technology companies that employ them. The R&D tax credit will be particularly important to the success of the Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability at the NIU Research Park.
In addition, the Blue-Collar Jobs Act promotes development in Illinois by providing tax credits for construction in enterprise zones and for high-impact projects. These credits are increased for projects in underserved areas.
These tools will help DCEDC and its member businesses and community members to attract new and expand local businesses, thereby growing and diversifying the county’s economy.
DeKalb County Economic