BELLEVILLE, Ill. – State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, and state Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Swansea, are highlighting a new report from the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) issued Monday that shows St. Clair County as the most-impacted county by the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption.
With less resources being directed toward local schools, fire departments and other community services as a result, Hoffman and Belt last month teamed up on a plan that enables the state to reimburse disproportionately affected counties while ensuring veterans continue to receive the exemption they deserve.
“As the home of a substantial military presence and a large veteran population, we anticipated the significant, multi-million impact this program has on local services,” Hoffman said. “By having the state responsibly reimburse local districts, we’re taking the needed steps to further strengthen and secure the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption long-term. We’re honored to be home to these veterans, and we want to continue to provide the appropriate respect and help provided through this exemption.”
“We want St. Clair County to be able to continue to honor and support those who have selflessly served our nation,” Belt said. “With the state’s commitment to reimbursing the region, it ensures the sustainability of the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption. This will have an undeniably beneficial impact for both our veterans and St. Clair County.”
In the IDOR report issued Monday, it’s estimated that “In year 2021, St. Clair County had 4,708 veteran exemptions. Veteran exemptions resulted in a loss of $272,153,718 in EAV in 2021. The Veteran EAV as a percentage of the total tax base was 6.02%.” The report also shows that the impact on local districts has risen in recent years.
Anticipating this news, Hoffman and Belt passed a reimbursement plan to assist affected local entities within 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 include Lake County 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.
For more information, please contact RepJayHoffman@gmail.com.