Upper Mississippi River International Port District (Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties)

The Upper Mississippi River International Port District is a municipal corporation established as a political subdivision by and of the legislature of the State of Illinois (SB174). It's purpose is to promote and enhance commerce and economic development. The Port District has the authority to issue tax free bonds for long-term, fixed rate financing as an attractive incentive for new or existing businesses to relocate or expand within the Port District Authority of Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties.

Opportunity Zones

Established by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities by providing tax benefits to investors.

On April 20, 2018, Governor Bruce Rauner submitted the allowable 327 of the 1,305 qualifying census tracts to the federal government for inclusion in the Opportunity Zone program. The zones selected in Jo Daviess County (Stockton, IL) and Carroll County (Savanna, IL) are two of 327 Opportunity Zones approved in the state.

Opportunity Zones present opportunities for private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need, benefiting residents living in those areas, as well as private investors. The Opportunity Zone program encourages long-term investment by allowing investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in designated zones.

  • Investors can defer tax on any prior gains until the earlier of the date on which an investment is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026, so long as the gain is reinvested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund.
  • If the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor would be eligible for an increase in basis equal to the fair market value of the investment on the date that the investment is sold or exchanged.
  • Further rules and regulations will be available summer 2018.

Read more here: NW Illinois Opportunity Zones Press Release

Savanna Depot Park

The Jo-Carroll Depot Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) shall be the community's point of contact during the reuse/redevelopment process. As we seek economic development at the depot, the LRA shall manage, market and promote early and long-term job creation and land utilization. Our long term goal is to provide economic growth, quality employment and improve property values in consideration of the surrounding environment for Carroll and Jo Daviess counties in Northwest Illinois.

Incentives available at Savanna Depot Park include the following:

Foreign Trade Zone #271

Located at Savanna Depot Park (2,950 acres of land and buildings) operated by Illinois International Trade Centers -

Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) were created in the United States to provide special customs procedures to U.S. plants engaged in international trade-related activities. Duty-free treatment is accorded items that are processed in FTZs and then re-exported, and duty payment is deferred on items until they are brought out of the FTZ for sale in the U.S. market. This helps to offset customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with domestic industry.

Goods entering FTZs are not subject to customs tariffs until the goods leave the zone and are formally entered into U.S. Customs Territory. Merchandise that is shipped to foreign countries from FTZs is exempt from duty payments. This provision is especially useful to firms that import components in order to manufacture finished products for export.

Enterprise Zones

An enterprise zone is a specific area designated by the State of Illinois in cooperation with a local government or region to receive various tax incentives and other benefits to stimulate economic activity and neighborhood revitalization.

All Enterprise Zone projects must be certified by the zone administrator prior to start of construction. Building permits are required; there is an application fee.

Jo-Carroll Enterprise Zone at Savanna Depot Park

Incentives include: Investment Tax Credit; Sales Tax Deduction - EZ Machinery and Equipment Sales Tax Exemption for qualifying business; Utility Tax Exemption; Jobs Tax Credit; Property Tax Abatement; and Dividend Deduction.

Local Incentives

Carroll County provides economic incentives which create new job opportunities and decrease unemployment, resulting in a better quality of life for its citizens. Property tax abatement on improvements are available in the enterprise zone. For more information, please click here, then click the Economic Development page.

The rolling hills of Jo Daviess County not only offer a great lifestyle adventure, but also many business opportunities. For more information and incentives for Jo Daviess County, please click here, then click the Applications & Forms page.

Whiteside County offers property tax abatement on improvements in the enterprise zone as well as sales tax exemption from retailers with an Enterprise Zone Sale Tax Certificate. For more information, please click here.

Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts

The following communities have established TIF districts:

  • Jo Daviess County - East Dubuque, Elizabeth, Stockton
  • Carroll County - Lanark, Milledgeville, Mt Carroll, Savanna
  • Whiteside County - Fulton

COVID-19 Resources
In the wake of COVID-19 and shelter in place, Jo Daviess County has updated its grant and loan programs.

  • The Jo Daviess County Revolving Loan Fund was established as a gap loan program to help businesses throughout the county. The application can be found here.
  • The Jo Daviess County Small Business Stabilization Grant Program was established to help nonessential businesses who have yet to receive federal or state aid. The application can be found here.

Northwest Illinois Enterprise Zones

Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties

Emily Legel
Executive Director
(815) 297-7361

Stephenson County/Freeport

Dave Young
Executive Director
(815) 233-1356

Whiteside - Carroll Enterprise Zone

Gary A. Camarano
Economic Development Director