SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A bipartisan tax credit has launched in Illinois after being put on hold for more than a year.

The Blue-Collar Jobs Act was negotiated as a part of the budget in 2019. But the credit providing $20 million in tax incentives to companies was frozen in 2021, and not launched until Wednesday.

The credits promote construction in low-income areas of the state.

“By offering tax incentives through the bipartisan Blue Collar Jobs Act, the State is bolstering construction projects and supporting economic development throughout Illinois,” DCEO Director Kristin Richards said. “The innovative tax credit structure will help create new, good-paying construction jobs while encouraging businesses to increase investments in Illinois’ communities.”

The Blue-Collar Jobs Act includes tax incentives for companies located in an Enterprise Zone or River Edge Redevelopment Zone, companies who are High Impact Businesses, and companies with an Economic Development for a Growing Economy program agreement.

Companies who complete a project in an underserved area can receive a 75% income tax refund on the construction workers who worked on the project, while projects outside of underserved areas can get a 50% refund.

Companies that completed a construction project in or after 2021 are eligible to apply.

Both Democrats and Republicans are big fans of the Blue-Collar Jobs Act because of the economic impact.

“Communities in every corner of Illinois will feel the impact of the Blue-Collar Jobs Act firsthand as construction projects receive new tax credits,” Representative Kelly Burke (D-Evergreen Park) said. “From creating new jobs in project localities to increasing foot traffic and incentivizing investing in Illinois, this Act will spur economic development across the state.”

“Illinois is a great place to do business, and the tax credits provided by the Blue-Collar Jobs Act will encourage capital investments across Illinois,” Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) said. “Incentivizing major construction projects while supporting manufacturers will have a long lasting, positive economic impact on Illinois communities.”

The application for the program can be found on DCEO’s website.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is hosting a webinar Monday June 26 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. to share the program application. The link to sign up for the program can be found here.