A new report says Illinois is leading the nation in creating jobs through historic preservation.

The National Park Service and Rutgers University rank Illinois first among all states by bringing in $807 million dollars in private spending using a federal tax credit program for rehabbing historic buildings.

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency spokesman Chris Wills says the credit assisted in projects ranging from the Hotel Pere-Marquette renovations in Peoria to work on Wrigley Field in Chicago.

“This is a really great program because for virtually no cost to the state, just a couple of salaries, we bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment,” Wills said. “That means economic growth in the state and that in turn creates jobs.”

Nearly 12,000 jobs, according to the report. The second highest-ranked state in the study, Pennsylvania, brought in 4,000 fewer jobs through the same tax credit.

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