SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To help middle-class families and seniors suffering under the burden of ever increasing property taxes, state Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, supported legislation that provides much-needed property tax relief to homeowners across the state.
“We are already asking our middle-class families to pay enough,” said Costello. “Each year, we continually see our cost of living go up, along with property taxes. This legislation would help alleviate some of that burden by expanding the exemptions that homeowners, veterans and seniors can easily qualify for and help them keep more money in their pockets.”
Currently, owners who live in their home receive a General Homestead Exemption of $6,000. Under House Bill 156, which Costello co-sponsored and supported, this exemption would be increased. The exemption available to senior citizens also increases from $5,000 to $6,000 under this legislation. The measure creates the Disabled Persons Freeze, which will be similar to the Senior Property Tax Freeze, but will only be available to individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income from the federal government. To help veterans and their families, the bill allows veterans with a 20 to 30 percent disability and veterans over the age of 75 to qualify for a $2,500 exemption.
Finally, Costello’s legislation expands the Long-Time Owner Occupant Exemption to the entire state. This will allow homeowners who have lived in their home for more than eight years and earn less than $100,000 to qualify for an additional exemption, based on the length of time the homeowner has lived in their house. Homeowners who live in their house for 21 years or more receive an additional exemption of up to 60 percent of the General Homestead Exemption. House Bill 156 passed the Illinois House on Thursday with almost unanimous support.
“Supporting meaningful property tax relief was something that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on,” Costello said. “The governor has said that property tax relief is one of his top priorities, and I am willing to work with him on issues like these. I remain committed to helping stop additional and unreasonable taxes from being placed on our middle-class families in Southern Illinois and helping provide tax relief.”