Tax CreditState Senator Patricia Van Pelt’s first substantive piece of legislation passed through the Senate today with bipartisan support. This legislation, SB 1659, would expand the maximum tax credit for businesses who hire qualified ex-offenders from $600 to $1500.

“This legislation will offer an increased incentive for businesses to assist in the integration of ex-offenders into the community,” said Sen. Van Pelt. “This is a common sense policy that helps the state reach its goals of rebuilding communities, strengthening families and ensuring opportunities for all residents of Illinois.”

The credit is equal to 5% of the wages paid to the ex-offender.  The $1500 maximum is a lifetime cap. Once an employer has claimed the credit for an ex-offender the credit cannot be claimed again for the same ex-offender. The legislation allows a business to claim this tax credit within 3 years after the offender is released from a correctional facility. The term “qualified ex-offender” includes all persons sentenced to incarceration, except for those persons required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act.

“Expanding the definition of ‘qualified ex-offender’ will ensure business owners don’t need a law degree to decide who to hire,” said Sen. Van Pelt. “In 2010 only 23 businesses claimed this tax credit. Increasing the tax credit will help get people back to work in my district and throughout Illinois.”

SB 1659 was overwhelmingly approved and now moves to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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