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What is a JEDZ?

You may have heard the term "JEDZ" (Joint Economic Development Zone) come up recently in the news or conversations about government finances. As everyone is aware, local governments are in the midst of dealing with reduced budgets and funding cuts but still looking for ways to promote economic development. One way of addressing these problems is through the use of a JEDZ. This is not a new idea, just one that has not been utilized as much until recent years. Instead of asking the residents of Sycamore Township to vote for new levies that would increase local property tax rates on their individual homes, the Trustees are asking them to vote "yes" in May on a JEDZ that puts a low 0.75% earnings tax rate on the business districts. The proceeds of the JEDZ will be used to enhance the economic vitality of the zones from which they are collected. As a result, the Board of Trustees believes that the enhanced commercial zones will allow them to continue to provide better core services to the rest of the Township. The following bullet points summarize the essential components of the JEDZ concept. 

  • JEDZ is an earnings tax placed on the business district - not the residential district. 
  • Residents would vote on the issue in the May election. 
  • The tax rate is 0.75% - the lowest rate in the county. 
  • Sycamore Township residents who work in the JEDZ may have their tax reimbursed to them at the end of the year, so their net loss is zero.
  • Reciprocity between the Township and most municipalities means that workers will not be charged an additional amount above the current rate they may be paying elsewhere.
  • An adjacent municipality will collect the tax for the Township, as required by State law since townships cannot legally perform this option themselves. In return, the municipality will receive 10% of the proceeds, and agrees not to annex any portion of the Township.
  • Without the JEDZ, it would take 9 mills of additional levy income to generate the same economic impact necessary to provide these enhanced services.
  • The Trustees believe passing the JEDZ will provide the best revenue source for funding the needed/enhanced safety services delivery and infrastructure, as well as allowing the Township to continue its strong economic development – all without raising your residential taxes.