Illinois makes tax break deals with 3 companies

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Commerce has agreed to tax breaks for three small companies that plan to add a total of 87 new jobs, the first deals since Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent decision to reinstate corporate tax incentives.

But the deals through the EDGE tax-credit program would not provide tax incentives until Rauner and Illinois lawmakers agree on the overdue state budget. Rauner attached that provision to his decision earlier this month to restart the program.

Tuesday's announcement about the new deals did not include information on the size of the tax breaks. A department spokeswoman did not reply to a request for further information.

"All three companies considered moving operations to another state but chose to stay and grow in Illinois as a result of the state's high quality workforce and competitive incentive packages," the news release said.

The deals include tax breaks for:

- Fabrik Industries Inc. in McHenry; adds 25 new jobs and invest $5 million. The company now employs 264 people.

- Bell Flavors & Fragrances Inc. in Northbrook; adds 25 jobs to its 179-employee workforce and invest $10 million.

- Taurus Die Casting in Rockford; adds 37 jobs and invest $6.4 million at the facility where it now employs 268 people.

The Economic Development for a Growing Economy program, the state's primary tool to give companies job-creation incentives, has been controversial in Illinois and in some cases provided special deals to large companies threatening to leave the state. Many deals rewarded companies merely for not cutting jobs.

Rauner, a Republican, suspended the EDGE program after taking office. He announced the decision to restart it earlier this month but said no more deals would be made with companies that just maintain current employment levels.

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