(50 ILCS 470/10)
    Sec. 10. Definitions. As used in this Act, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
    "Base year" means the calendar year immediately prior to the calendar year in which the STAR bond district is established.
    "Commence work" means the manifest commencement of actual operations on the development site, such as, erecting a building, general on-site and off-site grading and utility installations, commencing design and construction documentation, ordering lead-time materials, excavating the ground to lay a foundation or a basement, or work of like description which a reasonable person would recognize as being done with the intention and purpose to continue work until the project is completed.
    "County" means the county in which a proposed STAR bond district is located.
    "De minimis" means an amount less than 15% of the land area within a STAR bond district.
    "Department of Revenue" means the Department of Revenue of the State of Illinois.
    "Destination user" means an owner, operator, licensee, co-developer, subdeveloper, or tenant (i) that operates a business within a STAR bond district that is a retail store having at least 150,000 square feet of sales floor area; (ii) that at the time of opening does not have another Illinois location within a 70 mile radius; (iii) that has an annual average of not less than 30% of customers who travel from at least 75 miles away or from out-of-state, as demonstrated by data from a comparable existing store or stores, or, if there is no comparable existing store, as demonstrated by an economic analysis that shows that the proposed retailer will have an annual average of not less than 30% of customers who travel from at least 75 miles away or from out-of-state; and (iv) that makes an initial capital investment, including project costs and other direct costs, of not less than $30,000,000 for such retail store.
    "Destination hotel" means a hotel (as that term is defined in Section 2 of the Hotel Operators' Occupation Tax Act) complex having at least 150 guest rooms and which also includes a venue for entertainment attractions, rides, or other activities oriented toward the entertainment and amusement of its guests and other patrons.
    "Developer" means any individual, corporation, trust, estate, partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or other entity. The term does not include a not-for-profit entity, political subdivision, or other agency or instrumentality of the State.
    "Director" means the Director of Revenue, who shall consult with the Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in any approvals or decisions required by the Director under this Act.
    "Economic impact study" means a study conducted by an independent economist to project the financial benefit of the proposed STAR bond project to the local, regional, and State economies, consider the proposed adverse impacts on similar projects and businesses, as well as municipalities within the projected market area, and draw conclusions about the net effect of the proposed STAR bond project on the local, regional, and State economies. A copy of the economic impact study shall be provided to the Director for review.
    "Eligible area" means any improved or vacant area that (i) is contiguous and is not, in the aggregate, less than 250 acres nor more than 500 acres which must include only parcels of real property directly and substantially benefited by the proposed STAR bond district plan, (ii) is adjacent to a federal interstate highway, (iii) is within one mile of 2 State highways, (iv) is within one mile of an entertainment user, or a major or minor league sports stadium or other similar entertainment venue that had an initial capital investment of at least $20,000,000, and (v) includes land that was previously surface or strip mined. The area may be bisected by streets, highways, roads, alleys, railways, bike paths, streams, rivers, and other waterways and still be deemed contiguous. In addition, in order to constitute an eligible area one of the following requirements must be satisfied and all of which are subject to the review and approval of the Director as provided in subsection (d) of Section 15:
        (a) the governing body of the political subdivision
    
shall have determined that the area meets the requirements of a "blighted area" as defined under the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act; or
        (b) the governing body of the political subdivision
    
shall have determined that the area is a blighted area as determined under the provisions of Section 11-74.3-5 of the Illinois Municipal Code; or
        (c) the governing body of the political subdivision
    
shall make the following findings:
            (i) that the vacant portions of the area have
        
remained vacant for at least one year, or that any building located on a vacant portion of the property was demolished within the last year and that the building would have qualified under item (ii) of this subsection;
            (ii) if portions of the area are currently
        
developed, that the use, condition, and character of the buildings on the property are not consistent with the purposes set forth in Section 5;
            (iii) that the STAR bond district is expected to
        
create or retain job opportunities within the political subdivision;
            (iv) that the STAR bond district will serve to
        
further the development of adjacent areas;
            (v) that without the availability of STAR bonds,
        
the projects described in the STAR bond district plan would not be possible;
            (vi) that the master developer meets high
        
standards of creditworthiness and financial strength as demonstrated by one or more of the following: (i) corporate debenture ratings of BBB or higher by Standard & Poor's Corporation or Baa or higher by Moody's Investors Service, Inc.; (ii) a letter from a financial institution with assets of $10,000,000 or more attesting to the financial strength of the master developer; or (iii) specific evidence of equity financing for not less than 10% of the estimated total STAR bond project costs;
            (vii) that the STAR bond district will strengthen
        
the commercial sector of the political subdivision;
            (viii) that the STAR bond district will enhance
        
the tax base of the political subdivision; and
            (ix) that the formation of a STAR bond district
        
is in the best interest of the political subdivision.
    "Entertainment user" means an owner, operator, licensee, co-developer, subdeveloper, or tenant that operates a business within a STAR bond district that has a primary use of providing a venue for entertainment attractions, rides, or other activities oriented toward the entertainment and amusement of its patrons, occupies at least 20 acres of land in the STAR bond district, and makes an initial capital investment, including project costs and other direct and indirect costs, of not less than $25,000,000 for that venue.
    "Feasibility study" means a feasibility study as defined in subsection (b) of Section 20.
    "Infrastructure" means the public improvements and private improvements that serve the public purposes set forth in Section 5 of this Act and that benefit the STAR bond district or any STAR bond projects, including, but not limited to, streets, drives and driveways, traffic and directional signs and signals, parking lots and parking facilities, interchanges, highways, sidewalks, bridges, underpasses and overpasses, bike and walking trails, sanitary storm sewers and lift stations, drainage conduits, channels, levees, canals, storm water detention and retention facilities, utilities and utility connections, water mains and extensions, and street and parking lot lighting and connections.
    "Local sales taxes" means any locally imposed taxes received by a municipality, county, or other local governmental entity arising from sales by retailers and servicemen within a STAR bond district, including business district sales taxes and STAR bond occupation taxes, and that portion of the net revenue realized under the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act, the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, and the Service Occupation Tax Act from transactions at places of business located within a STAR bond district that is deposited into the Local Government Tax Fund and the County and Mass Transit District Fund. For the purpose of this Act, "local sales taxes" does not include (i) any taxes authorized pursuant to the Local Mass Transit District Act or the Metro-East Park and Recreation District Act for so long as the applicable taxing district does not impose a tax on real property, (ii) county school facility occupation taxes imposed pursuant to Section 5-1006.7 of the Counties Code, or (iii) any taxes authorized under the Flood Prevention District Act.
    "Local sales tax increment" means, with respect to local sales taxes administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue, (i) all of the local sales tax paid by destination users, destination hotels, and entertainment users that is in excess of the local sales tax paid by destination users, destination hotels, and entertainment users for the same month in the base year, as determined by the Illinois Department of Revenue, (ii) in the case of a municipality forming a STAR bond district that is wholly within the corporate boundaries of the municipality and in the case of a municipality and county forming a STAR bond district that is only partially within such municipality, that portion of the local sales tax paid by taxpayers that are not destination users, destination hotels, or entertainment users that is in excess of the local sales tax paid by taxpayers that are not destination users, destination hotels, or entertainment users for the same month in the base year, as determined by the Illinois Department of Revenue, and (iii) in the case of a county in which a STAR bond district is formed that is wholly within a municipality, that portion of the local sales tax paid by taxpayers that are not destination users, destination hotels, or entertainment users that is in excess of the local sales tax paid by taxpayers that are not destination users, destination hotels, or entertainment users for the same month in the base year, as determined by the Illinois Department of Revenue, but only if the corporate authorities of the county adopts an ordinance, and files a copy with the Department within the same time frames as required for STAR bond occupation taxes under Section 31, that designates the taxes referenced in this clause (iii) as part of the local sales tax increment under this Act. "Local sales tax increment" means, with respect to local sales taxes administered by a municipality, county, or other unit of local government, that portion of the local sales tax that is in excess of the local sales tax for the same month in the base year, as determined by the respective municipality, county, or other unit of local government. If any portion of local sales taxes are, at the time of formation of a STAR bond district, already subject to tax increment financing under the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act, then the local sales tax increment for such portion shall be frozen at the base year established in accordance with this Act, and all future incremental increases shall be included in the "local sales tax increment" under this Act. Any party otherwise entitled to receipt of incremental local sales tax revenues through an existing tax increment financing district shall be entitled to continue to receive such revenues up to the amount frozen in the base year. Nothing in this Act shall affect the prior qualification of existing redevelopment project costs incurred that are eligible for reimbursement under the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act. In such event, prior to approving a STAR bond district, the political subdivision forming the STAR bond district shall take such action as is necessary, including amending the existing tax increment financing district redevelopment plan, to carry out the provisions of this Act. The Illinois Department of Revenue shall allocate the local sales tax increment only if the local sales tax is administered by the Department.
    "Market study" means a study to determine the ability of the proposed STAR bond project to gain market share locally and regionally and to remain profitable past the term of repayment of STAR bonds.
    "Master developer" means a developer cooperating with a political subdivision to plan, develop, and implement a STAR bond project plan for a STAR bond district. Subject to the limitations of Section 25, the master developer may work with and transfer certain development rights to other developers for the purpose of implementing STAR bond project plans and achieving the purposes of this Act. A master developer for a STAR bond district shall be appointed by a political subdivision in the resolution establishing the STAR bond district, and the master developer must, at the time of appointment, own or have control of, through purchase agreements, option contracts, or other means, not less than 50% of the acreage within the STAR bond district and the master developer or its affiliate must have ownership or control on June 1, 2010.
    "Master development agreement" means an agreement between the master developer and the political subdivision to govern a STAR bond district and any STAR bond projects.
    "Municipality" means the city, village, or incorporated town in which a proposed STAR bond district is located.
    "Pledged STAR revenues" means those sales tax and revenues and other sources of funds pledged to pay debt service on STAR bonds or to pay project costs pursuant to Section 30. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the following revenues shall not constitute pledged STAR revenues or be available to pay principal and interest on STAR bonds: any State sales tax increment or local sales tax increment from a retail entity initiating operations in a STAR bond district while terminating operations at another Illinois location within 25 miles of the STAR bond district. For purposes of this paragraph, "terminating operations" means a closing of a retail operation that is directly related to the opening of the same operation or like retail entity owned or operated by more than 50% of the original ownership in a STAR bond district within one year before or after initiating operations in the STAR bond district, but it does not mean closing an operation for reasons beyond the control of the retail entity, as documented by the retail entity, subject to a reasonable finding by the municipality (or county if such retail operation is not located within a municipality) in which the terminated operations were located that the closed location contained inadequate space, had become economically obsolete, or was no longer a viable location for the retailer or serviceman.
    "Political subdivision" means a municipality or county which undertakes to establish a STAR bond district pursuant to the provisions of this Act.
    "Project costs" means and includes the sum total of all costs incurred or estimated to be incurred on or following the date of establishment of a STAR bond district that are reasonable or necessary to implement a STAR bond district plan or any STAR bond project plans, or both, including costs incurred for public improvements and private improvements that serve the public purposes set forth in Section 5 of this Act. Such costs include without limitation the following:
        (a) costs of studies, surveys, development of plans
    
and specifications, formation, implementation, and administration of a STAR bond district, STAR bond district plan, any STAR bond projects, or any STAR bond project plans, including, but not limited to, staff and professional service costs for architectural, engineering, legal, financial, planning, or other services, provided however that no charges for professional services may be based on a percentage of the tax increment collected and no contracts for professional services, excluding architectural and engineering services, may be entered into if the terms of the contract extend beyond a period of 3 years;
        (b) property assembly costs, including, but not
    
limited to, acquisition of land and other real property or rights or interests therein, located within the boundaries of a STAR bond district, demolition of buildings, site preparation, site improvements that serve as an engineered barrier addressing ground level or below ground environmental contamination, including, but not limited to, parking lots and other concrete or asphalt barriers, the clearing and grading of land, and importing additional soil and fill materials, or removal of soil and fill materials from the site;
        (c) subject to paragraph (d), costs of buildings and
    
other vertical improvements that are located within the boundaries of a STAR bond district and owned by a political subdivision or other public entity, including without limitation police and fire stations, educational facilities, and public restrooms and rest areas;
        (c-1) costs of buildings and other vertical
    
improvements that are located within the boundaries of a STAR bond district and owned by a destination user or destination hotel; except that only 2 destination users in a STAR bond district and one destination hotel are eligible to include the cost of those vertical improvements as project costs;
        (c-5) costs of buildings; rides and attractions,
    
which include carousels, slides, roller coasters, displays, models, towers, works of art, and similar theme and amusement park improvements; and other vertical improvements that are located within the boundaries of a STAR bond district and owned by an entertainment user; except that only one entertainment user in a STAR bond district is eligible to include the cost of those vertical improvements as project costs;
        (d) costs of the design and construction of
    
infrastructure and public works located within the boundaries of a STAR bond district that are reasonable or necessary to implement a STAR bond district plan or any STAR bond project plans, or both, except that project costs shall not include the cost of constructing a new municipal public building principally used to provide offices, storage space, or conference facilities or vehicle storage, maintenance, or repair for administrative, public safety, or public works personnel and that is not intended to replace an existing public building unless the political subdivision makes a reasonable determination in a STAR bond district plan or any STAR bond project plans, supported by information that provides the basis for that determination, that the new municipal building is required to meet an increase in the need for public safety purposes anticipated to result from the implementation of the STAR bond district plan or any STAR bond project plans;
        (e) costs of the design and construction of the
    
following improvements located outside the boundaries of a STAR bond district, provided that the costs are essential to further the purpose and development of a STAR bond district plan and either (i) part of and connected to sewer, water, or utility service lines that physically connect to the STAR bond district or (ii) significant improvements for adjacent offsite highways, streets, roadways, and interchanges that are approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation. No other cost of infrastructure and public works improvements located outside the boundaries of a STAR bond district may be deemed project costs;
        (f) costs of job training and retraining projects,
    
including the cost of "welfare to work" programs implemented by businesses located within a STAR bond district;
        (g) financing costs, including, but not limited to,
    
all necessary and incidental expenses related to the issuance of obligations and which may include payment of interest on any obligations issued hereunder including interest accruing during the estimated period of construction of any improvements in a STAR bond district or any STAR bond projects for which such obligations are issued and for not exceeding 36 months thereafter and including reasonable reserves related thereto;
        (h) to the extent the political subdivision by
    
written agreement accepts and approves the same, all or a portion of a taxing district's capital costs resulting from a STAR bond district or STAR bond projects necessarily incurred or to be incurred within a taxing district in furtherance of the objectives of a STAR bond district plan or STAR bond project plans;
        (i) interest cost incurred by a developer for project
    
costs related to the acquisition, formation, implementation, development, construction, and administration of a STAR bond district, STAR bond district plan, STAR bond projects, or any STAR bond project plans provided that:
            (i) payment of such costs in any one year may not
        
exceed 30% of the annual interest costs incurred by the developer with regard to the STAR bond district or any STAR bond projects during that year; and
            (ii) the total of such interest payments paid
        
pursuant to this Act may not exceed 30% of the total cost paid or incurred by the developer for a STAR bond district or STAR bond projects, plus project costs, excluding any property assembly costs incurred by a political subdivision pursuant to this Act;
        (j) costs of common areas located within the
    
boundaries of a STAR bond district;
        (k) costs of landscaping and plantings, retaining
    
walls and fences, man-made lakes and ponds, shelters, benches, lighting, and similar amenities located within the boundaries of a STAR bond district;
        (l) costs of mounted building signs, site monument,
    
and pylon signs located within the boundaries of a STAR bond district; or
        (m) if included in the STAR bond district plan and
    
approved in writing by the Director, salaries or a portion of salaries for local government employees to the extent the same are directly attributable to the work of such employees on the establishment and management of a STAR bond district or any STAR bond projects.
    Except as specified in items (a) through (m), "project costs" shall not include:
        (i) the cost of construction of buildings that are
    
privately owned or owned by a municipality and leased to a developer or retail user for non-entertainment retail uses;
        (ii) moving expenses for employees of the businesses
    
locating within the STAR bond district;
        (iii) property taxes for property located in the STAR
    
bond district;
        (iv) lobbying costs; and
        (v) general overhead or administrative costs of the
    
political subdivision that would still have been incurred by the political subdivision if the political subdivision had not established a STAR bond district.
    "Project development agreement" means any one or more agreements, including any amendments thereto, between a master developer and any co-developer or subdeveloper in connection with a STAR bond project, which project development agreement may include the political subdivision as a party.
    "Projected market area" means any area within the State in which a STAR bond district or STAR bond project is projected to have a significant fiscal or market impact as determined by the Director.
    "Resolution" means a resolution, order, ordinance, or other appropriate form of legislative action of a political subdivision or other applicable public entity approved by a vote of a majority of a quorum at a meeting of the governing body of the political subdivision or applicable public entity.
    "STAR bond" means a sales tax and revenue bond, note, or other obligation payable from pledged STAR revenues and issued by a political subdivision, the proceeds of which shall be used only to pay project costs as defined in this Act.
    "STAR bond district" means the specific area declared to be an eligible area as determined by the political subdivision, and approved by the Director, in which the political subdivision may develop one or more STAR bond projects.
    "STAR bond district plan" means the preliminary or conceptual plan that generally identifies the proposed STAR bond project areas and identifies in a general manner the buildings, facilities, and improvements to be constructed or improved in each STAR bond project area.
    "STAR bond project" means a project within a STAR bond district which is approved pursuant to Section 20.
    "STAR bond project area" means the geographic area within a STAR bond district in which there may be one or more STAR bond projects.
    "STAR bond project plan" means the written plan adopted by a political subdivision for the development of a STAR bond project in a STAR bond district; the plan may include, but is not limited to, (i) project costs incurred prior to the date of the STAR bond project plan and estimated future STAR bond project costs, (ii) proposed sources of funds to pay those costs, (iii) the nature and estimated term of any obligations to be issued by the political subdivision to pay those costs, (iv) the most recent equalized assessed valuation of the STAR bond project area, (v) an estimate of the equalized assessed valuation of the STAR bond district or applicable project area after completion of a STAR bond project, (vi) a general description of the types of any known or proposed developers, users, or tenants of the STAR bond project or projects included in the plan, (vii) a general description of the type, structure, and character of the property or facilities to be developed or improved, (viii) a description of the general land uses to apply to the STAR bond project, and (ix) a general description or an estimate of the type, class, and number of employees to be employed in the operation of the STAR bond project.
    "State sales tax" means all of the net revenue realized under the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act, the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, and the Service Occupation Tax Act from transactions at places of business located within a STAR bond district, excluding that portion of the net revenue realized under the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act, the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, and the Service Occupation Tax Act from transactions at places of business located within a STAR bond district that is deposited into the Local Government Tax Fund and the County and Mass Transit District Fund.
    "State sales tax increment" means (i) 100% of that portion of the State sales tax that is in excess of the State sales tax for the same month in the base year, as determined by the Department of Revenue, from transactions at up to 2 destination users, one destination hotel, and one entertainment user located within a STAR bond district, which destination users, destination hotel, and entertainment user shall be designated by the master developer and approved by the political subdivision and the Director in conjunction with the applicable STAR bond project approval, and (ii) 25% of that portion of the State sales tax that is in excess of the State sales tax for the same month in the base year, as determined by the Department of Revenue, from all other transactions within a STAR bond district. If any portion of State sales taxes are, at the time of formation of a STAR bond district, already subject to tax increment financing under the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act, then the State sales tax increment for such portion shall be frozen at the base year established in accordance with this Act, and all future incremental increases shall be included in the State sales tax increment under this Act. Any party otherwise entitled to receipt of incremental State sales tax revenues through an existing tax increment financing district shall be entitled to continue to receive such revenues up to the amount frozen in the base year. Nothing in this Act shall affect the prior qualification of existing redevelopment project costs incurred that are eligible for reimbursement under the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act. In such event, prior to approving a STAR bond district, the political subdivision forming the STAR bond district shall take such action as is necessary, including amending the existing tax increment financing district redevelopment plan, to carry out the provisions of this Act.
    "Substantial change" means a change wherein the proposed STAR bond project plan differs substantially in size, scope, or use from the approved STAR bond district plan or STAR bond project plan.
    "Taxpayer" means an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, trust, estate, or other entity that is subject to the Illinois Income Tax Act.
    "Total development costs" means the aggregate public and private investment in a STAR bond district, including project costs and other direct and indirect costs related to the development of the STAR bond district.
    "Traditional retail use" means the operation of a business that derives at least 90% of its annual gross revenue from sales at retail, as that phrase is defined by Section 1 of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act, but does not include the operations of destination users, entertainment users, restaurants, hotels, retail uses within hotels, or any other non-retail uses.
    "Vacant" means that portion of the land in a proposed STAR bond district that is not occupied by a building, facility, or other vertical improvement.
(Source: P.A. 99-642, eff. 7-28-16.)