Comptroller Mendoza’s statement praising Tuesday’s vote to launch STAR Bonds project in Southern Illinois

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

I’m so happy the city of Marion has approved the state’s first STAR Bonds project, which will bring welcome economic investment, jobs, new businesses, entertainment, fun and great opportunities to Southern Illinois. 

I was very proud to work on the original legislation that former State Rep. John Bradley passed in 2010. Speaking on the House floor in favor of the bill, I outlined my language about Angel Investment Tax Credits that formed part of the Innovation Development and Economy Act, which paved the way for this district. That same year, Marion created its STAR Bonds District. 

My Deputy Director of Outreach and Community Affairs, Josh Downs, read my letter of support for this project before the vote at last night’s Marion City Council meeting.  

The Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) Bonds are paid for by future sales taxes collected by businesses that locate in the district. 

The new businesses anticipated at Marion’s Oasis Outdoors development include sports complexes, expanded golf and pickleball complexes, go-karts, virtual reality, bowling alleys, climbing walls, arcades, restaurants, a redevelopment of the mall to showcase one of the world’s largest RV dealerships, and so much more. 

This project will be an economic driver for Southern Illinois and will attract significant out-of-state tourism dollars.  

Congratulations to developers Rodney Cabaness; Shad Zimbro, Millennium Destination Development LLC, Marion Mayor Mike Absher and everyone else who is working on this innovative project.