Residents of Christian and Montgomery counties and other areas affected by tornadoes last year could see some tax relief as a result of legislation sponsored by local lawmakers.
Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, filed Senate Bill 70, which gives a $750 income tax credit to property owners in places declared a state disaster in 2018 area because of tornadoes.
“The individuals that I’ve talked to in Taylorville and beyond Taylorville … that were impacted by the (Dec. 1) tornadoes, I think this would go a long way for them personally,” Manar said. “What I have heard from families that have been impacted is that (the tax credit) could go to any number of things, from repairing windows and roofs to covering a very small fraction of rebuilding a home or an insurance deductible or expenses.”
The state has offered similar tax credits to homeowners affected by other natural disasters.
Another bill Manar is sponsoring, Senate Bill 114, would provide $250,000 to Taylorville from the state’s Disaster Response and Recovery Fund.
Manar said the devastation that happened as a result of the Taylorville tornadoes was beyond anything he has ever seen.
“The entire community has to be rebuilt,” he said. “I think the state’s role in that is one that is one that is supportive both of municipal and local governments that have had to incur hundreds thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, in costs as a result.”
Money from the Disaster Response and Recovery Fund can be used to pay emergency employees and the Illinois National Guard, disaster-related expenses of state agencies and departments, and buying or renting emergency equipment. The money is only allowed to be used for the disaster area as a whole, not individual people.
Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, is a co-sponsor of House Bill 366, which allows people rebuilding after a natural disaster to make their new house larger than their original structure by 110 percent in square footage.
“Folks who have suffered a disaster may choose to rebuild bigger than it was before,” Bourne said. “(This bill) removes that (original) restriction and provides property tax relief.”
The bill also would let taxpayers file an initial application for a natural disaster homestead exemption after the first taxable year the structure is rebuilt.
To be eligible for an exemption, the structure would have to be built within two years of the natural disaster.
“I think that’s a reasonable time frame, for folks to have two years to rebuild,” Bourne said. “It can take a while to figure out what you want to do.”
Bourne said the flexibility is important to communities, as they have suffered a loss.
“Your community will never feel the same,” Bourne said. “To get everyone back at 100 percent will take a while.”
Contact Cassie Buchman: 782-3095, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/cjbuchman.
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via State Government News – The State Journal-Register http://bit.ly/2GxsTCh
January 31, 2019 at 09:50PM