Illinois, Iowa Could Bid on Fertilizer Facility
By Jeff Bossert, With Additional Reporting from The Associated Press
A Champaign legislator believes Illinois can rival what Iowa is offering to lure a fertilizer production facility to Tuscola. The two states could end up in a bidding war over Cronus Chemical’s $1.2 billion facility.
House Republican Adam Brown says he’s worked with the governor’s office and state economic officials to offer an incentive package.
While Iowa is offering about $35-million in taxpayer subsidies, Brown said a measure he’s sponsored would qualify the plant for tax exemptions, and up to $12-million in property tax abatement. And he said Tuscola is a natural location.
“We’ve got a natural gas pipeline that comes extremely close to that site already," Brown said. We’ve identified a water source coming down from the Champaign County that can supply this facility with massive amounts of water that it will need, and also it’s in open space that can provide great transportation routes with I-57 as well as Route 36.”
The Cronus facility would create 2,000 construction jobs and 150 full-time jobs. Brown said he hopes to pass his tax incentive measure out of a House committee this week.
He said the site for the proposed fertilizer plant is adjacent to where Tuscola was hoping to lure the FutureGen coal gasification plant a few years ago, before federal officials chose Mattoon for the site, and the entire project later changed in scope and moved to Western Illinois.
Iowa beat Illinois last year over the site of a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant. Gov. Terry Branstad has been criticized over tax breaks related to that plant.