ABC7 On Your Side: Your Piece of the Stimulus

March 30, 2009 (CHICAGO) Workers may already see lower withholdings in their paychecks. But some tax credits require you take action now.

A speedy stream of stimulus cash into Illinois is not a reality, not yet.

ABC7 caught up with the state's chief operating officer Jack Lavin before he headed to Springfield to sure up the a supplemental budget bill that will allow the state to use the new federal money.

Illinois is estimated to get $9 billion; $7 billion for operations programs like Medicaid and green job training programs; and $2 billion for infrastructure.

Repairs to road and bridges will result in the most immediate job creation.

Nearly 150,000 jobs are expected to be created or retained by the stimulus.

At, job seekers will find information about new jobs as the projects are selected.

Lavin expects the first projects will be listed by the end of next month.

"Everybody's working hard at the federal level, the state level and the local level to get money to Illinois as quickly as possible, get it out the door so we can create jobs," said Jack Lavin, Illinois Chief Operating Officer.

As some hope to get hired, others are preparing for their tax credit.

Martha Bada recently moved into her home in the Roseland neighborhood. Adding to her enthusiasm for the American dream, her realtor informed her about an $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers.

"I was amazed and thrilled. I was just so over the top," said Bada. "I'm excited."

"The stimulus definitely helps. People are excited about the possibility of getting a large lump some of money that doesn't have to be repaid," said Cyrea Zinnamon, Bada's realtor, (UPDATED 4/1/2009: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported Zinnamon worked for another web site.)

Judy Meguire is a partner with accounting firm Virchow Krause and Company. She says the first-time home buyer credit can actually help prospective home buyers right now by taking the credit on your 2008 taxes.

"If you going to buy a house between now and October 15, you may want to consider extending your return so you can get that money back before April 15," said Meguire, certified public accountant.

The stimulus also offers:

-a tax deduction on the sales tax of a new car purchase up to $49,000
-a $7,500 tax credit on the plug in vehicles
-there's a tax credit on 30 percent of replacement windows, doors and insulation with energy efficient material --- the limit $1,500.
-and a tax credit on 30 percent of solar, wind and geothermal heat pumps systems has no limit.

That's good news for Michele LoCante in DuPage county who spent $31,000 on a geothermal heat pump. The system uses the temperature of water below the ground to more efficiently heat and cool the home and water.

"It's sort of an added bonus for doing well, doing the right thing and we got a bonus for it. We're happy," said LoCante, geothermal heat pump owner.

Check with your accountant to see which parts of the stimulus may benefit you specifically. And Illinois may get even more jobs from the stimulus.

The state is competing for non committed federal money in areas like, high speed rail and increased broadband access.

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