CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois House passed a 12-year extension for downtown Charleston’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.

A press release from State Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) says the House approved Sunday House Bill 570 with 100 ‘yes’ votes. It adds the TIF district was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022.

The legislation will next move to the Illinois Senate for further deliberation.

The extension, also requested by the city, will “continue the City’s revitalization of the downtown area,” Miller says.

The Downtown TIF District was granted in 1986, the release continues, and the extension only applies to the property tax portion of taxes collected.

The release says businesses inside TIF districts help facilitate economic growth by “refunding or diverting a portion of the taxes businesses pay to help finance development in a blighted area of a community.”

“This is a project I have been working on all year,” Miller said in the release. “The City Council in Charleston approved the TIF extension last February. The legislation stalled in the House last May, but we were finally able to get it through the House.

“Certainly, TIFs can be controversial but what has been happening in Charleston has been good for the community and they just need a little more time to finish up a few projects. It is a reasonable request and one that has strong support in Coles County.”

“The Senate approved the Charleston TIF extension last year and I see no reason why they would not do it again,” Miller said. “The holdup was in the House, but the issues and concerns in the House have been resolved and I expect this to pass in the Senate before the lame duck session ends later this week.”