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20 ILCS 655/5.5

    (20 ILCS 655/5.5) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 609.1)
    Sec. 5.5. High Impact Business.
    (a) In order to respond to unique opportunities to assist in the encouragement, development, growth and expansion of the private sector through large scale investment and development projects, the Department is authorized to receive and approve applications for the designation of "High Impact Businesses" in Illinois subject to the following conditions:
        (1) such applications may be submitted at any time
    
during the year;
        (2) such business is not located, at the time of
    
designation, in an enterprise zone designated pursuant to this Act;
        (3) the business intends to do one or more of the
    
following:
            (A) the business intends to make a minimum
        
investment of $12,000,000 which will be placed in service in qualified property and intends to create 500 full-time equivalent jobs at a designated location in Illinois or intends to make a minimum investment of $30,000,000 which will be placed in service in qualified property and intends to retain 1,500 full-time retained jobs at a designated location in Illinois. The business must certify in writing that the investments would not be placed in service in qualified property and the job creation or job retention would not occur without the tax credits and exemptions set forth in subsection (b) of this Section. The terms "placed in service" and "qualified property" have the same meanings as described in subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act; or
            (B) the business intends to establish a new
        
electric generating facility at a designated location in Illinois. "New electric generating facility", for purposes of this Section, means a newly-constructed electric generation plant or a newly-constructed generation capacity expansion at an existing electric generation plant, including the transmission lines and associated equipment that transfers electricity from points of supply to points of delivery, and for which such new foundation construction commenced not sooner than July 1, 2001. Such facility shall be designed to provide baseload electric generation and shall operate on a continuous basis throughout the year; and (i) shall have an aggregate rated generating capacity of at least 1,000 megawatts for all new units at one site if it uses natural gas as its primary fuel and foundation construction of the facility is commenced on or before December 31, 2004, or shall have an aggregate rated generating capacity of at least 400 megawatts for all new units at one site if it uses coal or gases derived from coal as its primary fuel and shall support the creation of at least 150 new Illinois coal mining jobs, or (ii) shall be funded through a federal Department of Energy grant before December 31, 2010 and shall support the creation of Illinois coal-mining jobs, or (iii) shall use coal gasification or integrated gasification-combined cycle units that generate electricity or chemicals, or both, and shall support the creation of Illinois coal-mining jobs. The business must certify in writing that the investments necessary to establish a new electric generating facility would not be placed in service and the job creation in the case of a coal-fueled plant would not occur without the tax credits and exemptions set forth in subsection (b-5) of this Section. The term "placed in service" has the same meaning as described in subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act; or
            (B-5) the business intends to establish a new
        
gasification facility at a designated location in Illinois. As used in this Section, "new gasification facility" means a newly constructed coal gasification facility that generates chemical feedstocks or transportation fuels derived from coal (which may include, but are not limited to, methane, methanol, and nitrogen fertilizer), that supports the creation or retention of Illinois coal-mining jobs, and that qualifies for financial assistance from the Department before December 31, 2010. A new gasification facility does not include a pilot project located within Jefferson County or within a county adjacent to Jefferson County for synthetic natural gas from coal; or
            (C) the business intends to establish production
        
operations at a new coal mine, re-establish production operations at a closed coal mine, or expand production at an existing coal mine at a designated location in Illinois not sooner than July 1, 2001; provided that the production operations result in the creation of 150 new Illinois coal mining jobs as described in subdivision (a)(3)(B) of this Section, and further provided that the coal extracted from such mine is utilized as the predominant source for a new electric generating facility. The business must certify in writing that the investments necessary to establish a new, expanded, or reopened coal mine would not be placed in service and the job creation would not occur without the tax credits and exemptions set forth in subsection (b-5) of this Section. The term "placed in service" has the same meaning as described in subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act; or
            (D) the business intends to construct new
        
transmission facilities or upgrade existing transmission facilities at designated locations in Illinois, for which construction commenced not sooner than July 1, 2001. For the purposes of this Section, "transmission facilities" means transmission lines with a voltage rating of 115 kilovolts or above, including associated equipment, that transfer electricity from points of supply to points of delivery and that transmit a majority of the electricity generated by a new electric generating facility designated as a High Impact Business in accordance with this Section. The business must certify in writing that the investments necessary to construct new transmission facilities or upgrade existing transmission facilities would not be placed in service without the tax credits and exemptions set forth in subsection (b-5) of this Section. The term "placed in service" has the same meaning as described in subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act; or
            (E) the business intends to establish a new wind
        
power facility at a designated location in Illinois. For purposes of this Section, "new wind power facility" means a newly constructed electric generation facility, or a newly constructed expansion of an existing electric generation facility, placed in service on or after July 1, 2009, that generates electricity using wind energy devices, and such facility shall be deemed to include all associated transmission lines, substations, and other equipment related to the generation of electricity from wind energy devices. For purposes of this Section, "wind energy device" means any device, with a nameplate capacity of at least 0.5 megawatts, that is used in the process of converting kinetic energy from the wind to generate electricity; or
            (F) the business commits to (i) make a minimum
        
investment of $500,000,000, which will be placed in service in a qualified property, (ii) create 125 full-time equivalent jobs at a designated location in Illinois, (iii) establish a fertilizer plant at a designated location in Illinois that complies with the set-back standards as described in Table 1: Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances in the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook published by the United States Department of Transportation, (iv) pay a prevailing wage for employees at that location who are engaged in construction activities, and (v) secure an appropriate level of general liability insurance to protect against catastrophic failure of the fertilizer plant or any of its constituent systems; in addition, the business must agree to enter into a construction project labor agreement including provisions establishing wages, benefits, and other compensation for employees performing work under the project labor agreement at that location; for the purposes of this Section, "fertilizer plant" means a newly constructed or upgraded plant utilizing gas used in the production of anhydrous ammonia and downstream nitrogen fertilizer products for resale; for the purposes of this Section, "prevailing wage" means the hourly cash wages plus fringe benefits for training and apprenticeship programs approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, health and welfare, insurance, vacations and pensions paid generally, in the locality in which the work is being performed, to employees engaged in work of a similar character on public works; this paragraph (F) applies only to businesses that submit an application to the Department within 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly; and
        (4) no later than 90 days after an application is
    
submitted, the Department shall notify the applicant of the Department's determination of the qualification of the proposed High Impact Business under this Section.
    (b) Businesses designated as High Impact Businesses pursuant to subdivision (a)(3)(A) of this Section shall qualify for the credits and exemptions described in the following Acts: Section 9-222 and Section 9-222.1A of the Public Utilities Act, subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act, and Section 1d of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act; provided that these credits and exemptions described in these Acts shall not be authorized until the minimum investments set forth in subdivision (a)(3)(A) of this Section have been placed in service in qualified properties and, in the case of the exemptions described in the Public Utilities Act and Section 1d of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act, the minimum full-time equivalent jobs or full-time retained jobs set forth in subdivision (a)(3)(A) of this Section have been created or retained. Businesses designated as High Impact Businesses under this Section shall also qualify for the exemption described in Section 5l of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act. The credit provided in subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act shall be applicable to investments in qualified property as set forth in subdivision (a)(3)(A) of this Section.
    (b-5) Businesses designated as High Impact Businesses pursuant to subdivisions (a)(3)(B), (a)(3)(B-5), (a)(3)(C), and (a)(3)(D) of this Section shall qualify for the credits and exemptions described in the following Acts: Section 51 of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act, Section 9-222 and Section 9-222.1A of the Public Utilities Act, and subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act; however, the credits and exemptions authorized under Section 9-222 and Section 9-222.1A of the Public Utilities Act, and subsection (h) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act shall not be authorized until the new electric generating facility, the new gasification facility, the new transmission facility, or the new, expanded, or reopened coal mine is operational, except that a new electric generating facility whose primary fuel source is natural gas is eligible only for the exemption under Section 5l of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act.
    (b-6) Businesses designated as High Impact Businesses pursuant to subdivision (a)(3)(E) of this Section shall qualify for the exemptions described in Section 5l of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act; any business so designated as a High Impact Business being, for purposes of this Section, a "Wind Energy Business".
    (b-7) Beginning on January 1, 2021, businesses designated as High Impact Businesses by the Department shall qualify for the High Impact Business construction jobs credit under subsection (h-5) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act if the business meets the criteria set forth in subsection (i) of this Section. The total aggregate amount of credits awarded under the Blue Collar Jobs Act (Article 20 of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly) shall not exceed $20,000,000 in any State fiscal year.
    (c) High Impact Businesses located in federally designated foreign trade zones or sub-zones are also eligible for additional credits, exemptions and deductions as described in the following Acts: Section 9-221 and Section 9-222.1 of the Public Utilities Act; and subsection (g) of Section 201, and Section 203 of the Illinois Income Tax Act.
    (d) Except for businesses contemplated under subdivision (a)(3)(E) of this Section, existing Illinois businesses which apply for designation as a High Impact Business must provide the Department with the prospective plan for which 1,500 full-time retained jobs would be eliminated in the event that the business is not designated.
    (e) Except for new wind power facilities contemplated under subdivision (a)(3)(E) of this Section, new proposed facilities which apply for designation as High Impact Business must provide the Department with proof of alternative non-Illinois sites which would receive the proposed investment and job creation in the event that the business is not designated as a High Impact Business.
    (f) Except for businesses contemplated under subdivision (a)(3)(E) of this Section, in the event that a business is designated a High Impact Business and it is later determined after reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing as provided under the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, that the business would have placed in service in qualified property the investments and created or retained the requisite number of jobs without the benefits of the High Impact Business designation, the Department shall be required to immediately revoke the designation and notify the Director of the Department of Revenue who shall begin proceedings to recover all wrongfully exempted State taxes with interest. The business shall also be ineligible for all State funded Department programs for a period of 10 years.
    (g) The Department shall revoke a High Impact Business designation if the participating business fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the designation. However, the penalties for new wind power facilities or Wind Energy Businesses for failure to comply with any of the terms or conditions of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act shall be only those penalties identified in the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, and the Department shall not revoke a High Impact Business designation as a result of the failure to comply with any of the terms or conditions of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act in relation to a new wind power facility or a Wind Energy Business.
    (h) Prior to designating a business, the Department shall provide the members of the General Assembly and Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability with a report setting forth the terms and conditions of the designation and guarantees that have been received by the Department in relation to the proposed business being designated.
    (i) High Impact Business construction jobs credit. Beginning on January 1, 2021, a High Impact Business may receive a tax credit against the tax imposed under subsections (a) and (b) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act in an amount equal to 50% of the amount of the incremental income tax attributable to High Impact Business construction jobs credit employees employed in the course of completing a High Impact Business construction jobs project. However, the High Impact Business construction jobs credit may equal 75% of the amount of the incremental income tax attributable to High Impact Business construction jobs credit employees if the High Impact Business construction jobs credit project is located in an underserved area.
    The Department shall certify to the Department of Revenue: (1) the identity of taxpayers that are eligible for the High Impact Business construction jobs credit; and (2) the amount of High Impact Business construction jobs credits that are claimed pursuant to subsection (h-5) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act in each taxable year. Any business entity that receives a High Impact Business construction jobs credit shall maintain a certified payroll pursuant to subsection (j) of this Section.
    As used in this subsection (i):
    "High Impact Business construction jobs credit" means an amount equal to 50% (or 75% if the High Impact Business construction project is located in an underserved area) of the incremental income tax attributable to High Impact Business construction job employees. The total aggregate amount of credits awarded under the Blue Collar Jobs Act (Article 20 of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly) shall not exceed $20,000,000 in any State fiscal year
    "High Impact Business construction job employee" means a laborer or worker who is employed by an Illinois contractor or subcontractor in the actual construction work on the site of a High Impact Business construction job project.
    "High Impact Business construction jobs project" means building a structure or building or making improvements of any kind to real property, undertaken and commissioned by a business that was designated as a High Impact Business by the Department. The term "High Impact Business construction jobs project" does not include the routine operation, routine repair, or routine maintenance of existing structures, buildings, or real property.
    "Incremental income tax" means the total amount withheld during the taxable year from the compensation of High Impact Business construction job employees.
    "Underserved area" means a geographic area that meets one or more of the following conditions:
        (1) the area has a poverty rate of at least 20%
    
according to the latest federal decennial census;
        (2) 75% or more of the children in the area
    
participate in the federal free lunch program according to reported statistics from the State Board of Education;
        (3) at least 20% of the households in the area
    
receive assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); or
        (4) the area has an average unemployment rate, as
    
determined by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, that is more than 120% of the national unemployment average, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor, for a period of at least 2 consecutive calendar years preceding the date of the application.
    (j) Each contractor and subcontractor who is engaged in and executing a High Impact Business Construction jobs project, as defined under subsection (i) of this Section, for a business that is entitled to a credit pursuant to subsection (i) of this Section shall:
        (1) make and keep, for a period of 5 years from the
    
date of the last payment made on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly on a contract or subcontract for a High Impact Business Construction Jobs Project, records for all laborers and other workers employed by the contractor or subcontractor on the project; the records shall include:
            (A) the worker's name;
            (B) the worker's address;
            (C) the worker's telephone number, if available;
            (D) the worker's social security number;
            (E) the worker's classification or
        
classifications;
            (F) the worker's gross and net wages paid in each
        
pay period;
            (G) the worker's number of hours worked each day;
            (H) the worker's starting and ending times of
        
work each day;
            (I) the worker's hourly wage rate; and
            (J) the worker's hourly overtime wage rate;
        (2) no later than the 15th day of each calendar
    
month, provide a certified payroll for the immediately preceding month to the taxpayer in charge of the High Impact Business construction jobs project; within 5 business days after receiving the certified payroll, the taxpayer shall file the certified payroll with the Department of Labor and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; a certified payroll must be filed for only those calendar months during which construction on a High Impact Business construction jobs project has occurred; the certified payroll shall consist of a complete copy of the records identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection (j), but may exclude the starting and ending times of work each day; the certified payroll shall be accompanied by a statement signed by the contractor or subcontractor or an officer, employee, or agent of the contractor or subcontractor which avers that:
            (A) he or she has examined the certified payroll
        
records required to be submitted by the Act and such records are true and accurate; and
            (B) the contractor or subcontractor is aware that
        
filing a certified payroll that he or she knows to be false is a Class A misdemeanor.
    A general contractor is not prohibited from relying on a certified payroll of a lower-tier subcontractor, provided the general contractor does not knowingly rely upon a subcontractor's false certification.
    Any contractor or subcontractor subject to this subsection, and any officer, employee, or agent of such contractor or subcontractor whose duty as an officer, employee, or agent it is to file a certified payroll under this subsection, who willfully fails to file such a certified payroll on or before the date such certified payroll is required by this paragraph to be filed and any person who willfully files a false certified payroll that is false as to any material fact is in violation of this Act and guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
    The taxpayer in charge of the project shall keep the records submitted in accordance with this subsection on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly for a period of 5 years from the date of the last payment for work on a contract or subcontract for the High Impact Business construction jobs project.
    The records submitted in accordance with this subsection shall be considered public records, except an employee's address, telephone number, and social security number, and made available in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. The Department of Labor shall accept any reasonable submissions by the contractor that meet the requirements of this subsection (j) and shall share the information with the Department in order to comply with the awarding of a High Impact Business construction jobs credit. A contractor, subcontractor, or public body may retain records required under this Section in paper or electronic format.
    (k) Upon 7 business days' notice, each contractor and subcontractor shall make available for inspection and copying at a location within this State during reasonable hours, the records identified in this subsection (j) to the taxpayer in charge of the High Impact Business construction jobs project, its officers and agents, the Director of the Department of Labor and his deputies and agents, and to federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.
(Source: P.A. 101-9, eff. 6-5-19.)