Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Aiming to address the lack of availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in economically disadvantaged communities, State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, has introduced a bill to provide a tax incentive to food stores who offer fresh produce if they locate and operate in areas known as food deserts.
“Attracting grocery stores able to provide families with fresh produce is long overdue in many communities in Illinois, “DeLuca said. “The economic incentive this legislation authorizes will increase the healthy food options for families living in food deserts.
House Bill 3888 allows municipalities to offer property tax abatements, without limit, for grocery stores or supermarkets that are built in a food desert. Food deserts are defined as areas that have a poverty rate that is 20% or greater than the median family income or below 80% of the area median family income. In addition, at least 33% of the census tract’s population must live more than 1 mile from a supermarket or grocery store in metropolitan areas or more than 10 miles from a supermarket or grocery store in rural areas.
“In order to have healthy communities and help reduce overall health care costs, people must have access to stores that can provide fresh produce,” DeLuca said. “In addition to the health benefits, these new stores will also create jobs and help spur economic activity involved in the construction and operation of the store. At the end of the day, this concept will help raise the quality of life in many Illinois communities.”
For more information or state-related questions, please contact DeLuca’s full-time constituent service office at 708-754-7900 or email [email protected]