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Major tax relief package awaits action in state Senate

SPRINGFIELD – Every homeowner in the state would receive a break from high property taxes under a comprehensive tax relief package co-sponsored by several state representatives in Southwestern Illinois

The measure is pending in the state Senate.

Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, Jerry Costello II, D-Smithon, and Dan Beiser, D-Alton were among cosponsors of the bill that passed the House, increasing the value of key property tax credits for families, seniors and veterans. While Gov. Bruce Rauner has discussed freezing property taxes, this action goes further to actually cut property taxes and reduce the burden on local homeowners, Stuart said.

“As I go door-to-door, I hear from residents who are concerned that the ever-increasing property taxes will drive their families from our communities,” Stuart said. “The Metro East has a lot to offer, and keeping this an affordable area for seniors and young families is very important.”

The bill provides homeowners with relief above and beyond the freeze discussed by the governor, by increasing the value of key property tax exemptions that help homeowners reduce the taxable value of their homes and cut their taxes. Beginning in 2018:

• All homeowners would be eligible for an annual $8,000 exemption on their primary residence;
• Seniors on fixed incomes would see lower property tax bills, as an exemption for homeowners over the age of 65 would increase from $5,000 to $6,000 annually;
• More veterans would be able to receive property tax relief, as returning disabled service members and veterans over the age of 75 would be able to receive an additional exemption.

The bill also creates a new property tax freeze for disabled homeowners receiving Supplemental Security Income from the federal government and expands tax credits provided to long-term homeowners.

“The over-reliance on property taxes to support the government is hurting middle-class families who see increasing tax bills every year, despite the fact that home values are not increasing at the same pace,” said Stuart. “This bill will give families, seniors and veterans some much-needed tax relief so that they can stay in our community, keep their homes and continue supporting our local economy.”

– From the Illinois Business Journal

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