Tornado Victims Blown Away By Tax Bills

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Springfield – Tornado victims in Gifford, Brockport and Washington are getting a nasty surprise as they rebuild homes after 2013 tornadoes.  Higher property tax bills.

“The devastation left by the November 17 tornadoes created unplanned expenses for Gifford homeowners,” said State Senator Scott Bennett, (D) Champaign.  “The cost of rebuilding and repairing is high enough without the additional expenses of higher property taxes.”

People who rebuilt after the tornadoes are supposed to receive a tax break through the Natural Disaster Homestead Exemption.  However, those who built larger homes lost the exemption.

Bennett has introduced legislation to provide a fix for those homeowners.

“I think everybody had the idea we wanted to reward those who stayed in their communities and wanted to rebuild there,” Bennett told WAND’s Doug Wolfe.  “There was a technicality that wasn’t very well known which is punishing people that built larger homes.”

Bennett’s bill provides a legislative fix to the problem.  It has passed a state senate committee and could be voted on by the full senate in April.

The bill is SB 3314.

(Photo: Tornado Damage in Gifford in November 2013)

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