By TESA GLASS
---- — MT. VERNON — Changes to the Enterprise Zone sales tax benefits mean area businesses and developers must get new tax exempt certificates by July 1.
“The State of Illinois, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Department of Revenue Enterprise Zone program has drastically changed,” City Manager Ron Neibert said. “Under terms of Enterprise Zone benefits, eligible construction materials purchased in the state are exempt from sales taxes ... in the past, the contractor would come to City Hall and get a certificate. The state has changed the program.”
According to information from the Illinois Department of Revenue, contractors and other entities participating in a real estate construction, rehabilitation or renovation project in an Enterprise Zone may purchase building materials for the project exempt from sales tax. Each construction contractor or other entity that purchases building materials must have a building materials exemption certificate.
“Now, those contractors will need to come to City Hall, fill out a new application for the certificate, then the city will have to apply on their behalf through the Department of Revenue,” Neibert explained. “Then, the Department of Revenue will e-mail a new certificate to the contractor within 72 hours.”
Neibert said the state program for the application requests was up and running last week, and the city issued its first new certificate at that time.
“It’s important for our contractors to know that their existing certificate won’t be any good on July 1,” Neibert said. “They won’t be able to buy anything on July 1 or after without a new certificate from the Department of Revenue.”