Lawmakers eye tax break to take over buildings

SPRINGFIELD — One state lawmaker wants to offer tax incentives to companies if they agree to take over abandoned state facilities.

Lee Enterprises newspapers' Springfield bureau reports supporters of the legislation say it could help communities, while also keeping vacant facilities from turning into crumbling eyesores.

The bill would let a private investor get an income tax credit in exchange for refurbishing a former state facility. The incentives would only apply to state facilities that had at least 100 employees and were closed within the past two years.

State Sen. Gary Forby, a Benton Democrat, supports the bill. His district includes the state's super-max prison at Tamms, which closed earlier this year.

The bill passed in the state Senate, but hasn't been considered in the House.