STAR bonds bill passes in Senate

by Ann Knef |
May 28, 2010, 3:51am

SPRINGFIELD - The state Senate passed a sales tax and revenue (STAR) bonds bill Thursday afternoon 34-17-3.

The legislation that will support development of a retail and entertainment complex in Marion now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature.

Last year, Quinn amendatorily vetoed a STAR bonds bill, which would have funneled 100 percent sales tax revenue to developers for a project in Glen Carbon. Quinn's veto offered to split sales taxes between developers and the state on a 50/50 basis, but the measure died and developers pushed for a newer version this year.

The new bill that passed yesterday is scaled down compared to last year's, limiting state support to half the cost instead of 100 percent.

Developers include Bruce Holland and John Costello, son of Congressman Jerry Costello.

State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) was a fierce opponent of STAR bonds.

On the floor of the Senate yesterday he urged fellow senators not to provide "corporate welfare" to developers.

Other Metro-East legislators, Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) and Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville) were also strongly opposed to the legislation. Haine voted no yesterday.

State Sen. Dave Luechtfeld (R-Okawville) voted yes.

Holland was quoted yesterday in the Mt. Vernon Register News as saying the Marion development was an "experiment."

"We need to see if it works and then we can see about the rest of the state," Holland was quoted as saying. "We need synergy in one spot."

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Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-54th)

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