People rebuilding in the wake of the February tornado in southern Illinois could see much higher property tax bills on their new-and-improved structures. The Illinois legislature is considering a measure meant to prevent that. The idea is that if an entire neighborhood is suddenly filled with new homes because older ones were wiped out by a natural disaster, everyone's property taxes should not go up. Representative Brandon Phelps is a Democrat from Harrisburg, ground-zero for the Leap Day tornado. He says some of his constituents could face property tax hikes of five-hundred to 12-hundred percent:
"All these people want, folks, is just to go home. They just want to go home. And that's all I'm trying to do today, 'cause I think it's totally unfair for these people to have to pay that property tax increase."
There are a few limits: structures would have to be rebuilt within two years and could be no more than 10 percent larger than the old building. The measure would apply anywhere in Illinois hit by any type of natural disaster. (photo courtesy "The Atlantic")
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