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updated: 11/11/2013 4:18 PM

Lawmakers eye tax break to take over vacant buildings

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Some Illinois lawmakers want to offer tax incentives to companies if they agree to take over certain abandoned state facilities.

A measure that was approved in the Senate but has yet to be considered in the House would give private investors an income tax credit in exchange for refurbishing a former state facility.

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Incentives would only apply to state facilities that had at least 100 employees and were closed within the past two years, Lee Enterprises newspapers' Springfield bureau reported.

"After suffering numerous state facility closures last year, I felt this measure was necessary to help communities get back on their feet," said state Sen. Tony Munoz, a Chicago Democrat.

Supporters say the measure would also help keep vacant facilities from turning into crumbling eyesores.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to be a good neighbor with our communities," said state Sen. Sam McCann, a Carlinville Republican.

State Sen. Gary Forby, whose district includes the recently closed Tamms prison, said the measure could help businesses and communities.

"We need to do something to put people back to work," Forby said.

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