BELLEVILLE, Ill. – As part of efforts to help disabled veterans continue to access property tax relief, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, and state Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Swansea, have passed a proposal to allow the state to reimburse counties which have military bases and are disproportionately impacted by the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption – including St. Clair County.
“By being the home county of Scott Air Force Base, the reality is a lot of veterans choose to stay in this area,” Hoffman said. “We are proud that so many veterans chose St. Clair County as home. The result is that St. Clair County, and other local governments and school districts, compared to other counties around the state, is disproportionately impacted by the number of individuals who qualify for the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption. We want to make sure that we continue to support this important property tax program, and by accessing state reimbursement dollars we can also ensure that local schools and essential services continue to receive the support they need as well.”
“It is our solemn duty to ensure our veterans receive the support they deserve,” Belt said. “This is a crucial initiative that Rep. Hoffman and I advocated for, because it guarantees that the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption is here to stay.”
Hoffman and Belt’s proposal was incorporated into House Bill 3817, the state’s budget implementation bill. In addition to St. Clair County, listed counties with a military base presence that would qualify for reimbursements are Lake and Rock Island County. Reimbursements from the state this year would amount to 45% of the value taxing districts could have received if the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption had not been applied. Moving forward, the reimbursement rate will rise to 90%.
The Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption provides a reduction in a property’s equalized assessed value to a qualifying home owned by a veteran with a service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. A veteran with a service-connected disability of at least 30% but less than 50% can qualify for a $2,500 homestead exemption. A veteran with a 50% to 70% service-connected disability can receive a $5,000 homestead exemption. Those with 70% to 100% service-connected disability qualify for a full exemption, effectively making their bill $0. An annual application must be filed with their relevant county to receive the exemption.
“We’re incredibly thankful for the service and sacrifice of our heroes, and are proud that they have chosen to call our community home,” Hoffman said. “This measure will help us ensure we honor our veterans, while also making sure our local governments do not need to resort to unnecessary cuts or tax increases.”
For more information, please contact RepJayHoffman@gmail.com.